This is the terrifying moment a shark almost devoured a young fisherman’s hand while snatching a fish that he’d just caught off the coast of New Zealand.
Jahmon Wilson, 18, had just landed a large kingfish off Nelson, at the northern end of New Zealand’s south island, when he was warned by other spearfishers that sharks were about.
But before he had a chance to gather his speargun and head home, the water turned white around him and a shark snatched the fish that was still attached to his line, missing his hand by mere inches.
The bronze whaler shark then dragged him through the water for 20 yards before severing his line.
This is the terrifying moment a shark almost devoured a young fisherman’s hand after snatching a fish he’d just caught off the coast of New Zealand
The bronze whaler shark snatched Jerome’s fish – which was still attached to the teenager’s line – missing his hand by mere inches
‘Originally I thought the kingfish just had a bit more life in it, because sometimes they still have nerves and they still kick around,’ Jahmon said.
‘Then I felt the force of the shark hit me and the kingfisher ripped out of my hands, and at that point everything was just big white water.
‘I was holding on to my speargun which was attached to the spearfish – so it towed me through the water for about 20 yards before cutting through the line.’
The close encounter comes only weeks after 19-year-old Kaelah Marlow was mauled to death by a great white shark off New Zealand’s Waihi Beach.
The shark can be seen dragging the fish and Jerome for 20 yards before severing the line
‘I was holding on to my speargun which was attached to the spearfish – so it towed me through the water for about 20 yards before cutting through the line,’ said Jerome
Jahmon is in no doubt about how lucky he was to escape uninjured.
‘In general, bronzies aren’t super aggressive but this was a very extreme and unique case I’m sure,’ he said.
‘The guy I was in the water with is an underwater photographer and has spent heaps of time with sharks, and he was extremely surprised at what had happened as well.
‘The guy said that he was looking for the first thing he could find to make a tourniquet so he was thinking worst case scenario.
‘I was probably quite lucky not to at least get my hand nicked or bitten, or even to have lost my hand.
‘I guess I’m just lucky that the shark had good aim and bit into the kingfish instead of me.’
The teenager is also sure that the shark meant him no harm.
Jereme grabs his speargun mere seconds before the shark snatches the fish from him
He said: ‘That really, really unfortunate event which happened in Waihi where that girl was attacked – that was a great white.
‘They’re less common in New Zealand waters. Great whites are sort of another story.
‘Bronze whalers aren’t man-eaters, they don’t often attack people.’
He continued: ‘They can get pretty close and they can steal your fish, but very, very, very rarely will they eat a fish out of your hand like that.
‘That’s a really ballsy, really confident shark.
‘He just wanted a free, easy feed and if that meant stealing the kingfish out of my hand then that was it for him.’
For Jahmon, who comes from Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island, the shock of the experience has given way to gratitude.
For Jahmon (pictured), who comes from Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island, the shock of the experience has given way to gratitude
He said: ‘It was my first ever kingfish that I shot – they are a big fish and I was looking forward to feeding all my friends and family with it.
‘If I didn’t get it on camera, I would have been a little more sour about it.
‘But coming out of the water, you just can’t really be mad about an experience like that.
‘It’s an experience that probably only a handful of people in the world will ever have, so just that experience alone was probably worth losing the fish.’
He added: ‘With the sharks, we are in their back yard.
‘So you just have to treat them with respect and as long as you don’t pose a threat to them, they probably won’t pose a threat to you.’
Bronze whalers, also known as copper sharks, are not usually aggressive to humans unless food is present.
But they have been known to harass spear fishers in an attempt to steal their catch.
Three out of ten shark attacks in New Zealand are attributed to the species.