A 73-year-old Australian fisherman inadvertently made the catch of a lifetime Saturday while fishing off of Evans Head on the country's east coast.
Terry Selwood told reporters Monday that a 9-foot great white shark leaped out of the ocean and onto the deck of his 15-foot power boat.
Selwood said the airborne shark struck him with a pectoral fin as it landed, knocking him off his feet.
Despite being badly bruised and bleeding, the fisherman reacted quickly, moving to the bow of the boat to avoid the thrashing shark.
"I didn't give it a chance to look me in the eyes. I wanted to get up and get on top of the gunnel because it was thrashing around madly," Selwood told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Selwood then used a hand-held radio to call the Evans Head Marine Rescue Unit for help.
Although Selwood told the coast guard a shark was aboard his boat, rescuers were shocked when they arrived.
"Often a fisherman will bring a small shark on board maybe 2 or 3 feet and they're still ferocious. That's what I was expecting, but I was totally wrong," coast guard skipper Bill Bates said.
The coast guard rescued Selwood and took him to get checked out by paramedics at Evans Head.