A Charlotte family's chartered fishing expedition off the coast of South Carolina "hit the shark jackpot" last week by hooking three sharks in one morning, including one that "took a bite out of the boat."
Brad Perrigo and his teenage son Buchanan caught the trio of sand tiger sharks Wednesday, five miles off Hilton Head. The sharks ranged in size from 6 to 8.5 feet.
It happened on a boat chartered through Outcast Sport Fishing, which posted photos on Facebook and Instagram. All three sharks were released back into the ocean.
"The first one was so big, it was like pulling up a mini-submarine," said Brad Perrigo, who handles business development for a Charlotte company. "And tiger sharks have such a mouth full of crazy teeth, it's like you are looking at something from the prehistoric era. It was a monster."
He added that one of the sharks "took a bite out of the side of the boat" with such force that its teeth went through the gel coat hull liner down to the aluminum. "I was glad I was in the boat," he said.
Two of the three sharks were caught by 15-year-old Buchanan "Cannonball" Perrigo, a Charlotte Latin student who competed at the state level in wrestling this past year. "It was only his second time he'd done an off-shore excursion," said his father.
Sand tiger sharks can be more than 10.5 feet long and can weight more than 350 pounds. They usually swim with their mouth open, displaying three rows of protruding, smooth-edged, sharp-pointed teeth.
It's a species of shark that is not common off the coast of South Carolina, said Chip Michalove, owner of Outcast Sport Fishing and captain of the boat that took the father-and-son team out.
"It's the first time in 20 years I've seen three in one day. We usually catch one or two a year," said Michalove.
"I was originally a little concerned whether (Buchanan) had enough weight to stay in the boat, so I stayed close to him in the beginning. But I saw he was completely fine standing on his own. I've got grown men that need help with a sharks that big."