Yesterday morning field specialist Dorien Schroder and six crew were chumming with sardines off the coast of Sea Island and recording a fair amount of activity around their boat.
The team were conducting research for Oceans Research as part of ‘Project Great White Shark' focusing on identifying great white sharks and measuring their population in South Africa.
After five minutes of unusually low levels of activity around the boat, the shark suddenly leapt out of the water and landed on their boat.
"Next thing I know I heard a splash, and see a white shark breach out of the water from the side of the boat hovering, literally, over the crew member who was chumming on the boat's portside," recalled Ms Schröder.
Schröder pulled the crewmember to safety but the 500kg shark, which landed on top of the fuel and bait storage containers and cut the fuel line, became stuck as it struggled to escape. Two shark scientists ashore responded to Schröder's emergency radio call, assembled a team, and were rushed out to Cheetah by another boat.
Once aboard they made sure that no one was injured before securing the shark while water was poured over its gills to help keep it alive. Cheetah, together with its surprise visitor, was then towed back to harbour where a crane was used to lift the shark free and return it, unharmed, to the sea
To read a full account of the incident, check out Oceans Research's official blog.