We’re gonna need a bigger boat.
Many Australians may be uttering that famous line by Roy Schneider from the classic 1975 horror film Jaws after a shark nearly as large as the one in the movie was spotted off the South Australia coastline on Sunday.
Adelaide Now reports police had to clear the water at a beach and life-saving carnival near an area called Marino Rocks after members of Surf Lifesaving Australia spotted an especially monstrous shark offshore. Members of Westpac Lifesaver Rescue observed the huge shark from a helicopter as they attempted to scare it away from the beaches of people.
The witnesses seemed awestruck by a shark they say is close in size to the 25-foot monster of the Jaws movies. “It’s the biggest I’ve ever seen as a crew member in the Westpac chopper,” one crew member of Westpac Lifesaver Rescue said.
Using a boat as a size comparison, the crew estimated the shark was 7 meters long. This puts the big fish at a stunning 22-feet in length. Similar-sized great whites caught in the past have been estimated to be close to 7,000 pounds. Photos of it quickly went viral via social media.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing to really reference to get a definitive idea of the great white’s actual size, but there’s no denying it is one big fish.
And the giant great white isn’t the only shark showing up at nearby beaches. A few other smaller sharks were seen and caused evacuations on a few other beaches early this week. Fortunately, there were no attacks. Adelaide Now reports Surf Life Saving has recorded 53 sightings of sharks this year. It’s an increase from just 30 at this time last year.
The organization reminded the public that it is currently summer in Australia and sharks are probably following large groups of fish into shallower waters where swimmers may be present.
While the rescue crews did watch the great white disappear back into deeper waters, it’s probably safe to say it’ll still be on the minds of Australian swimmers for a while.