THREE fishermen have had a lucky escape after a rogue 5m-long great white shark attacked their small boat off Victoria's coast.
The three fishermen, brothers Andrew and Ben Donegan and friend Joel Ryan, were tuna fishing on Saturday at Cape Nelson, off Portland, near the Victorian and South Australian border, when the huge predator started to circle the vessel, the Herald Sun reports.
They said it then suddenly became aggressive and tried to take a bite out of the boat.
The anglers said they may have pushed their luck with the shark, trying to touch it as it circled.
"Every time we put the camera in the water it tried to bite the camera. We've still got our arms and hands, so that's OK," Andrew Donegan said.
"I had just dared Joel to swim out to a buoy when it came up, it was pretty lucky. We thought it was a big mako shark then we realised we were looking at half a tonne of great white shark. It was having a look at us."
Mr Donegan said the myth of deterring a shark by punching its nose would not have worked.
"This thing was not even fazed in the slightest. It chewed a moving propeller," he said.
They decided to gun the boat to shore and the shark gave chase.
"We decided to punch it to shore, we thought if this thing jumps or puts its head in the boat we would capsize," he said.
But still they were thrilled at the close encounter, saying they had never seen anything like it.
Read more at heraldsun.com.au