A boy’s struggle to reel in a good-sized striped bass came to an abrupt end Sunday, when a great white shark jumped out of the ocean and snatched his fish as it was being pulled into the boat.
It happened off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and a 21-second video of the moment posted on Facebook shows adults were perhaps more startled than the boy.
In the video, the struggling young angler is heard complaining his fish is “not letting me pull the line.” Adults are heard offering encouragement, telling him “it’s a big one.”
Then, as a man bends over to pluck the fish out of the water, a shark suddenly appears and grabs the fish.
Profanity and gasps are heard in the background.
The video, credited to Tabatha Eldridge, was posted by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and it comes amidst a series of graphic videos in recent weeks that have shown sharks attacking seals in the same area.
One of those videos, also posted by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, showed a great white shark jumping at the feet of a researcher aboard a boat.
Commenters on social media noted that the boy likely had a better fishing story to tell after the shark ate his striper. The video had been viewed nearly 17,000 times in five hours.
A few commenters also noted how things could have ended tragically had the man trying to scoop up the fish been just a split second earlier.
“I bet that guy had to change his shorts. That was pretty close,” wrote Merry Schepers on Facebook.
“I can’t even remember how many times I’ve reached over to lip a striper out around P-town....won’t be doing that anymore!” said Joel Schwendemann. (To ‘lip’ a fish is a method of grabbing it by the lower jaw.)