Generally, shark sightings tend to send beachgoers fleeing in fear. But one Massachusetts man took a decidedly unconventional approach earlier this week, when he waded into the Nantucket surf and wrestled a passing shark to shore with his bare hands.
Elliot Sudal, a 24-year-old boat operator at Nantucket Mooring Company, told CNN he's been a fisherman for as long as he can remember. "It's almost like a drug," he said. "I got used to catching bigger and bigger fish." On Sunday he pulled off a truly daring catch.
Sudal was fishing for bluefish with his cousins when they noticed some of the fish were coming in with large chunks of their bodies missing, reports CNN. Sudal guessed a hungry shark was lurking in the area, cherry-picking their catches. He used the bluefish as bait to lure in what turned out to be a sand shark, which he estimated to be about 7 feet long and close to 200 pounds. Once the shark got close enough to shore, Sudal charged out to meet it, according to local news station WFSB.
The shark-wrangler eventually managed to tire it out and pulled it ashore by its tail, whereupon he took several photographs (now posted to his Facebook) before releasing the animal.
"I always treat [sharks] well," Sudal told WFSB. "I'm conservation-minded when it comes to that. I don't kill any of them. I just let them go. And yeah, they swim off just fine."
Sudal told ABC News that reactions to the stunt have been a mix of astonishment and raised eyebrows.
"I think people just kind of think I'm crazy," he said. "It seems wild, running into the water and grabbing a shark by its tail."