On a seemingly perfect day in paradise, in shallow water about a mile off the coast of Oahu, Hawaiian angler Scott Haraguchi was enjoying a little kayak fishing and getting some footage for his YouTube channel Hawaii Nearshore Fishing last Friday, when out of nowhere, a tiger shark boiled from the surface and tried to bite his kayak in half.
Well, he got some footage alright. “It was incredibly bad luck,” he told local ABC affiliate KITV, “but incredibly good luck to capture it.” Haraguchi had his GoPro camera turned on because he’d just filmed a nice catch, and it was only because he’d forgotten to turn it off that he captured the video below.
In the clip, Haraguchi seems to be calmly checking his line and reaching for a new bait. It’s a perfectly serene scene, except that in the upper left of the frame you suddenly see the wake of a massive shark closing fast, and then, as the angler described it to KITV, there’s “a whooshing sound” as the beast surges from the water, rams the tiny vessel, knocking it sideways, and then chomps down on the hull. Haraguchi screams and actually kicks the shark off his kayak. “I looked up and I saw this big, wide brown thing, which my brain thought was a turtle,” he told KITV. “But then I got slammed by it and I realized it was a tiger shark.” You can tell he realized this when he says, “Tiger shark rammed me! Holy F—!”
Haraguchi had seen a wounded seal before the attack and thinks that the shark may have disabled the animal and then mistook him for the seal when coming back to finish it. In any case, the incident put a new perspective on things for the angler. “I realized that life is short,” he told KITV, “so make the most of it.”
It wasn’t the first time something like this has happened. Back in 2020, another Hawaiian kayak fishermen posted a similar close call with a tiger shark shark on his YouTube channel, writing: “A tiger shark came in looking for a bite while I was securing a fish in my fish bag. Luckily I saw it in time to pull my feet out of the water before it had a chance to bite my foot off.”