Two fishermen had their boat upturned when a hammerhead shark they caught jumped into their small tinnie off Dalrymple Bay.
Two fishermen had their boat upturned when a hammerhead shark they caught jumped into their small tinnie off Dalrymple Bay. Peter Holt

Hammerhead shark so big it sinks fishermen's boat

What we know:

  • DalTug line boat operators rescued two young fishermen left treading water when their 2.4m tinnie sunk on Thursday evening.
  • The two fishermen told the DalTug crew their boat sunk after a 4m hammerhead shark they caught jumped on board.
  • A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed they were told the same story, when they assessed the boys on their return to the tug boat harbour.
  • Crew member Wayne Bishop said the incident should highlight the importance of safety at sea.


THE screams of two teenage fishermen left treading water when a shark sank their boat will stay with Wayne Bishop forever.

The fishermen were reportedly left bobbing off the coast of Dalrymple Bay on Thursday night, when a hammerhead shark they had caught jumped into their boat and sunk it.

That's according to Mr Bishop, who, along with two others happened to be passing by on a line boat called Hector and heard the screams of the drowning fishermen.

"They were singing their praises of God to us as we came 'round to save them," Mr Bishop told the Daily Mercury.

"We're just so glad that we did it. Those boys are the luckiest boys around town at the moment."

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Mr Bishop - a DalTug crewman since 1973 - said it was about 6pm, nearly dark, when his fellow line boat worker heard the screaming.

He then spotted "two heads bobbing in the water".

He said the crew was all trained in man overboard procedure, but getting the pair out was difficult.

They threw in life rings, attached to the boat with lanyards and dragged the boys towards the boat, before helping them up a ladder.

Once they were dried off the two fishermen told Mr Bishop and the other crew members their story.

LISTEN: DalTug's Wayne Bishop explains how two fishermen ended up treading water, trying to avoid the shark they had just tried to catch.

He said the boys had ventured outside the breakwater, in a 2.4m aluminium boat, just before dark and with no safety equipment before landing the catch of their lives.

"They were out fishing and they caught what they thought was a big fish and they pulled it in and it was a huge hammerhead shark. And it was bigger than the boat," Mr Bishop said.

He said the boys tried to cut the line, but as they were doing so "the shark decided to jump into the boat and capsize them".

Reportedly, the boat sunk almost immediately.

"The boat was gone, the shark was still attached to their line, they're in the water and it was getting dark," Mr Bishop said.

"They were so lucky. In another five minutes it was pitch black, we would not have been able to find them again."

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirmed that once the boys were delivered back to the tugboat harbour two paramedics attended, who also said the boat was reportedly flipped by a shark.

While Mr Bishop said it was a rewarding experience because the result was a good one, he said the incident highlighted the importance of safety at sea.

"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong at sea," he said.

"If we had not had passed they would have come to a bad end."