Experience: Recreational Fisherman
Interview Location: Sawyers Bay, NZ
Interview Date: 21 December 2015
Post Date: 08 July 2017; Copyright © 2017 Warren Lewis and Steve Crawford
5. WHITE POINTER ENCOUNTERS - EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS
CRAWFORD: In terms of Level 4 White Pointer encounters with humans, around the Otago Peninsula, what do you know about the attacks?
LEWIS: In terms of fatal attacks, they’ve all been in my lifespan.
LEWIS: St. Clair beach, beaches at Dunedin.
CRAWFORD: Roughly when?
LEWIS: Yes, surf life savers. 63/64/65. I can remember that avidly, and the one at Aramoana, actual dates I’m not quite sure but it would have been 68 to 71 - somewhere around that period.
CRAWFORD: St. Clair, St. Kilda, what do you know about the circumstances?
LEWIS: They were fatal. And one was swimming on a line, an old reel line for surf life saving. And he was taken off that. The other fella, I think he was free swimming, just doing something and he disappeared.
CRAWFORD: Were the sharks seen in either of those cases?
CRAWFORD: Do we know that they were White Pointers?
LEWIS: Yes, they were identified as White Sharks, big splash and goodness knows like that. Aramoana was a diver, and he was swimming not too far down the breakwater, and he was taken. He was diving, laying in the kelp, I think he had fish on the line.
LEWIS: Yes. You know, snorkeling.
CRAWFORD: What do you know about any non-fatal incidences in the region?
LEWIS: Surf-board attacks. You know, surfers being tipped off their boards, the boards being mauled.
LEWIS: St. Clair beach, mainly. Further south, I’m not sure, it was mentioned once around the Catlins, wherever it was down the way. And Moeraki, but I think that was more or less identified as a Sevengill Shark.
CRAWFORD: What about boaties? People who are simply out there, maybe out in a dinghy or whatever. Anything more than Level 3 kind of circling behaviour? Any type of interactions that you’ve heard of?
LEWIS: Heard stories, but it's very hard to confirm. “So and so had a big shark on,” but often people are saying "I’ve caught a massive shark." You go over there, and it's just a 1.5-2 metre Blue Shark, you know?
Copyright © 2017 Warren Lewis and Steve Crawford