Maui fisherman spends an hour at sea with great white circling kayak

Published: Mar. 13, 2017 at 6:57 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 13, 2017 at 7:01 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

UKUMEHAME, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Maui fisherman has a quite a whale of a tale to tell.

Make that a shark.

This weekend, Leo Pagaduan says he came within a few feet of one of the most feared creatures of the ocean -- a great white shark -- and it was all caught on video.

"The first time I saw, I was scared," said Pagaduan. "Because this was not a tiger shark. It's a great white."

On Saturday, just after 8 a.m., Pagaduan said he was fishing for opelu in calm waters off the Ukumehame firing range in West Maui.

After catching just one fish, he heard something behind his boat.

"Suddenly, splashing behind me. I'm not sure she wen bite or something," said Pagaduan. "When I look behind me, nothing there. When I look on my right side again, right there, it's coming."

The shark did exactly that, over and over, circling his kayak for more than an hour as Pagaduan recorded it all on his GoPro camera.

"Sometimes even you thinking she not there anymore, then suddenly she show up, not even five minutes and she show up again."

Bishop Museum Zoologist Richard Pyle saw the video and had this to say: "As far as I can tell, from that video clip you showed me, it looks like a (great) white shark."

Great whites can grow to nearly 20 feet in length. Pagaduan said this one was about the length of his 12-foot long kayak.

Should he have been more worried?

"Well, that's a good question," Pyle said, laughing. "Generally, the answer to that question is no. It didn't look like a particularly large white shark, so I don't think the shark would've tried to take over the boat or anything like that."

But Pagaduan said because the shark seemed to be following him, he stayed in the open waters away from shore -- worried that if he paddled in, the shark would follow him and be a danger to surfers.

"I'm not sure he would've been putting people at risk," said Pyle. "It's probably still a good thing he decided to wait until the shark left before he came in."

As for Pagaduan's close encounter, it won't keep him out of the water, he said.

"Yeah, I keep fishing," he said. "I love fishing."

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.