A South Island spearfisherman has recorded his lucky escape off the coast of Nelson today when a bronze whaler shark attacked a fish he had speared.
Jahmon Wilson, 18, posted the incredible GoPro vision on social media of the attack on Boulder Bank, near Nelson Port, involving a shark he estimates was over three metres long.
“It happened so fast, I was literally still holding the kingfish I had my head out of the water as soon you can see on the video, it came and ate it out of my hand pretty much, splashed around for a bit, then took off with my fish,” Wilson told 1 NEWS.
The powerful animal towed Wilson around for 20 or 30 metres, “a little bit under the water, but mostly on the surface”, before biting through the 1000-pound (454kg) shooting line.
The 18-year-old said he was lucky not to lose his hand.
“Honestly I'm still in shock. People ask me if I ever get afraid of sharks but there is a lot of misconceptions surrounding these animals,” he said.
“I was in its home, all it wanted was a fresh feed of fish. They aren't man eaters like people make them out to be. I'm just lucky I didn’t lose my hand.”
Wilson said the attack happened just after he had shot his first kingie as part of a group of four divers at the popular spot.
“I popped my head up, I was holding it up and screaming, ‘it’s my first kingfish I’ve ever shot,’” he said.
It was the first time Wilson, who saw another shark shortly after the attack, had seen sharks in the Nelson area having dived there for a decade.
“I was talking to a couple of the guys and they were saying they’d seen a couple of bronzies (bronze whalers) and one of them had actually got their kingfish stolen by a bronzie, eaten off their line, so I was pretty wary.”