TWO Hunter fishermen had the scare of a lifetime on Saturday when a five-metre shark began circling their tinny before head butting the engine as they were trying to get away.
Belmont resident Tim Watson, 24, captured footage of the close encounter which occurred half an hour off shore from Blacksmiths beach.
He and friend Allan de Sylva, 23, estimated the shark was a metre longer than their boat and only “half a foot” narrower than it.
“It felt like getting trapped in a room with an angry pit bull,” he said.
“It wouldn’t leave us alone.
“You almost wanted to stop and admire it but it was being pretty aggressive.
“It was as big as a wagon car – that’s what it felt like looking at it.”
Mr Watson said they’d been drifting around for about two hours and had only caught a few fish when the shark approached at 10.30am.
“We had a bit of blood in the boat that was getting washed in and out,” he said.
“When it rose up we realised how big it was.
“It then stopped and nudged the boat.
“If you watch the video closely the boat rocks a solid two to three foot to the edge.
“If it had hit it much harder the boat would have taken in a bit of water.
“A few times it actually started to bring its face out of the water and was rubbing it along the boat or something.”
After Mr Watson stopped filming he said he tried to pull start the engine to get away – but the shark started to head butt it.
“I started to pull and it came right underneath and head butted the engine and tried to open its mouth,” he said.
“I was quite nervous and a bit shaken.”
Mr Watson said there were a number of other boats around when the incident occurred.
“It was weird there was a charter boat within 20 metres but they said they didn’t notice anything,” he said.
After such a close call, Mr Watson said he’d continue to go fishing and respected the fact he was in the shark’s environment.
“I don’t think it will stop me, I won’t go that far out in a small boat again, though,” he said.