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.
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