OCEARCH crew member has dangerous job of hooking shark
Special Report: OCEARCH crew member has dangerous job of hooking shark
He's throwing common sense overboard. Captain Brett McBride hops into chest high water to pull a 2,000-pound great white shark toward him.
“I don't feel like I’ve ever gotten super close, where it made me nervous. I know it looks like it’s close and feet-wise it is close,” McBride said.
7News was on board the OCEARCH Thursday evening when Brett and the crew hooked a near 15-foot great white.
It's a historic catch -- the first ever in the North Atlantic -- and everyone knew the significance.
“I think this is the most significant fish we’ve ever caught together,” a crew member said.
Brett centers the shark on a platform -- that's on the side of their ship.
The platform is lifted out of the water and Brett heads right for the sharks mouth -- inches away from those huge teeth.
“I really don’t think about my safety nearly as much as I’m worried about the shark’s safety,” McBride said.
Water is pumped into the shark's mouth to keep it breathing; they toss a towel over its eyes to keep it calm.
Scientists have about 15 minutes to place satellite tags on it, measure it, and take blood and tissue samples in an effort to learn more about great whites -- so “Jaws” isn't the first and only thing people think of.
“We're trying to replace fear with facts, we're trying to replace unknowns with knowns,” said Chris Fischer, OCEARH.
Brett is again alone in the water with the great white to flip over the one-ton fish -- and when the shark reacts, you know Brett’s happy to be near the tail and not the teeth.
Within minutes the shark they named Genie is released back into the Atlantic. And Brett, who wrestled a great white, walks away unharmed.
“I’m not that much of a thrill seeker, I’m really focused on the shark, I’m not going for having some kind of thrill, I don’t want to get my hands bit off,” said McBride.
Brett, who may have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world -- claims it looks scarier than it is.
OCEARCH tagged a female shark Monday; the second on their expedition. The second shark they caught was about 16 feet and 3,000 pounds.