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No Bull: Shrimp Boat Sinks After Being Attacked Shark; A Bump in the Night

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FORT MYERS BEACH, Florida -- A shrimp boat crew says they are lucky to be alive after their ship was attacked by a bull shark.

Captain Roger Schmall says dealing with sharks is nothing new for shrimpers.

"We get hundreds of sharks following the boats when we're working, and it gets pretty scary sometimes. Throwing trash over and watching them in a feeding frenzy," said Schmall.

But what happened on January 29th was anything but normal.

Around 3:30 a.m. about 100 miles off the coast of Fort Myers Beach Captain Schmall and the rest of the crew onboard the "Christy Nichole" felt something slam into the boat.

It was a bull shark. Experts say it is aggressive, territorial and has more testosterone than any other creature on the planet.

Schmall rushed to put the engine in neutral, but before he could the boat began taking on water.

"It bogged the engine down, and snapped the tail, and that's actually where we started with our problem," said Schmall.

Captain Schmall realized his boat was sinking and he radioed his friend Henry Gore.

"It was just getting out of hand. The water was coming in faster than the pumps were keeping up," said Captain Henry Gore, rescuer.

It took Gore about two hours to get to the Christy Nichole.

"The crew just - their eyes were this big! They threw their gear on my boat, and just abandoned ship," said Gore.

The 36-year-old boat eventually sank.

Captain Schmall is taking some time off to spend time with family and friends, but says he will probably be back on the water soon.

Experts say the bull shark is one of the most dangerous species in the world. There have been 69 unprovoked attacks on humans.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

15 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

what an experience!! Would like to know how large the bull shark was, makes me wonder how many white attacks, are really the attacks of the bulls, also, if the incidence occured at night how did they know it was a bull shark??? thank you.
   comment# 1   - desertryane · Indian springs AMERICA · Feb 7, 2007 @ 1:40am

"Throwing trash over and watching them in a feeding frenzy," said Schmall. What kind of attitude is that in this day and age ? Typical fishermen using the ocean as a dumping ground. Unsuprising when it occassionally turns round and bites you is it ?
   comment# 2   - Paul · Reading, UK · Feb 7, 2007 @ 2:20pm

I'm a fisherman, when he says "trash" he doesn't mean actual garbage. He means trash fish, bycatch with no marketable value.How can you be that dim-witted?...Dumping ground..hahaha.
   comment# 3   - Rob · USA · Feb 11, 2007 @ 10:45am

I think these fishermen don't mean with trash, toxic garbage dude, what about shrimp&fish left-overs....Think twice when you wish some one a shark attack...Life of an fisherman is hard enough in this day and age....learn to see a bit further as were your nose ends PAUL and very short minded as well to say TYPICAL FISHERMEN, aint it (check your fridge)Greetings from Holland!!
   comment# 4   - Julien · Zandvoort · Feb 12, 2007 @ 4:34am

Since when is a bull shark, unprovoked, large enough to sink a fiberglass, and or wood boat? I could understand damage maybe, but a shark would not take it upon itself to indulge in a full out attack on a boat that is way too large for it, and in no way could it sink the boat. A shark would not cause harm to itself just to sink a boat. It looks like someones been watching "Jaws" lately. And...Why would you go shrimping 100 miles off shore? I live in Florida and that is way too far to be shrimping. Thats deep water, and shrimp like SEAGRASS.
   comment# 5   - Vallarie · Key Largo, Fl, USA · Dec 17, 2007 @ 7:27am

This story sounds like alot of Bull or another fishing story and i must say its a good one what was this boat made out cardboard think they watch to much of JAWS
   comment# 6   - Vincent Andreula · Hoboken N J · Apr 6, 2008 @ 4:01pm

I ran a shrimpboat for 15 yrs, if your 100 miles offshore all your going to do is sift water.More than likely he was out there pitching bales.
   comment# 7   - Jim Dawson · Ft Myers Bch FL · Sep 11, 2008 @ 11:47am

Hey Dummy. When he said trash, he didn't mean garbage. He mean the fish and crabs that get brought up in the nets when they are dragging for shrimp. If you don't understand what is being said say nothing. That way only you will know how dumb you are.
   comment# 8   - · Des Moines U.S.A. · Nov 18, 2008 @ 5:25am

Now, It's been said that a bull shark can't sink a boat. But, when I saw that shark hit Jenny I knew them peoples was wrong.
   comment# 9   - Forrest Gump · Ft. Myers Bch, FL · Feb 8, 2009 @ 9:37am

To the idoit from the UK making the comment about throwing trash overboard. Until you have been out there. Shut up if you don't know what you are talking about. A boat cannot bring back all the fish and crabs that are of no use to anyone. I spent two years out there off the coast of TX, and trust me they don't mean garbage, as in paper and plastic.
   comment# 10   - Lois · Des Moines USA · Feb 8, 2009 @ 1:45pm

One time i had a shark attack i was swimmin in the water cuz i was lookin for fishies and then a shark came and bit my leg and i punched him in the face and then i found a nickel and then i bought a pack of gum at a penny candy store...flavor blueberry blast
   comment# 11   - Ryan Doherty: cutelilpuppy47 · Walpole · Apr 14, 2009 @ 9:12am

I had a bull shark attack me onetime I was sitting on my toilet and I felt a great deal of pain oh wait I was constipated, man it felt like shitting a baseball bat.......Peace out matt moss
   comment# 12   - Matt · galveston, Tx USA · Jul 29, 2009 @ 7:50pm

even at night when a shark gets aggressive you can indicate that it was a bulldog shark, here in fort myers we dont really see much activity from any other sharks except for bulldogs, they mostly come here to breed and feed, also I've never seen a great white here, mostly because of the climate (they like it cold like in california), and the other sharks here are usually docile which of course most fisherman come to get
   comment# 13   - bailey · Fl Usa · Oct 27, 2009 @ 1:01pm

lol I said bulldog
   comment# 14   - bailey · Fl Usa · Oct 27, 2009 @ 1:03pm

i shrimp for living, we want put anything in the wateer(trash) bye catch we release,with all the net restiction's ( 500 sq ft)T.e.d"s and fish eyes, an fuel prices. NOW BULSHARKS are evrywhere, with the band of gill an sane neets, guess what??? when ya get in the bays and gulf to swim you just became fish bait. the number of shark attacks grew over the past few years heree in fl. the bait the net fishermen took, made a defferance. so when your in the water an ya see coming toward ya ask youself do i bait or swim like h--l
   comment# 15   - ole luger · panama city fl · Dec 13, 2009 @ 10:03am
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