Watch: Angler Narrowly Survives Tiger Shark Attack

A kayak angler in Hawaii narrowly escaped the jaws of a tiger shark over the weekend, and he captured the entire harrowing experience on video.

Scott Haraguchi was fishing less than a mile off the coast of Oahu in shallow waters when he heard a “whooshing noise” and saw what he at first described as “a wide brown thing on the side of the kayak.” He thought it was a turtle and took his left foot out of the water to brace for the impact but soon realized he was dealing with something much more dangerous.

In the video, the tiger shark can be seen ramming the kayak and momentarily biting the side. Haraguchi uses his left foot to kick the head of the huge fish, and it releases the kayak and swims away.

“If you asked me to do that again, even without the shark, I don't think I'd have that flexibility,” Haraguchi says in the video’s description.

The angler told MeatEater that his camera was on because he’d just caught a peacock grouper minutes before. “I had just returned to sit forward straddling the kayak with both feet in the water," he said. "Had I been slammed earlier, sitting side saddle, with the center hatch open, I would have been pitched in the water, and the kayak hatch would have filled the hull."

Haraguchi kept fishing after his up-close shark encounter and didn’t realize the fish had actually bitten his kayak until he reviewed the footage later. The kayak only sustained minor damage.

haraguchi GT Image via Scott Haraguchi Instagram, @hawaiinearshorefishing. This photo is from another fishing trip during which Haraguchi caught a giant trevally.

It’s unclear why the shark decided to go after Haraguchi’s kayak. A 20-foot shark was spotted close to North Beach the following day, but it’s unclear whether it’s the same animal. Haraguchi theorizes that perhaps the shark mistook his boat for a wounded seal.

“I’m thinking that the shark disabled and wounded the seal, was waiting for it to die, came back and thought I was the seal, and attacked me instead,” he said.

Haraguchi says the shark didn't stick around after the incident, but his fishing partner told him he may have seen it later when they were farther from shore.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated with comments from Scott Haraguchi.

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