The boat operated by Naut’île Excursions Nautiques was afloat in waters off the French overseas territory of Mayotte. Mayotte is north of Madagascar, and just off the coast of south eastern Africa. The manager of the company, Jean Gaucher, said that those on board the vessel got more than they bargained for when shortly after the vessel had left the lagoon, they came across a floating carcass.
Speaking to Newsweek Mr Gaucher explained that the floating carcass was a meal that the Mako shark was keen to hang on to.
He said: ”As we approached, we saw that it was a dead blue swordfish which had just been killed by a Mako shark.
“When the shark saw the boat it tried to defend his prey and pierced the port side of the vessel with his tooth.”
He said that those on the boat observed the shark for about 20 minutes.
Then the shark suddenly bit the floating part at the rear of the boat.
Mr Gaucher added: ”It was amazing.
“We need a couple of days to repair the boat.”
Mr Gaucher said the passengers were in no danger and that there was no urgency to return to the dock, insisting that the shark was merely acting out of instinct.
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But while it is viewed as an expert predator, and often, incorrectly, as a mindless killing machine, the great white is not the most agile of sharks.
That mantle belongs to the Shortfin Mako shark which may, in fact, be one of the most efficient hunters in the ocean.
The Mako shark is an endangered species and is often the victim of shark finning, in which fishermen cut off the fish’s fin while they are still alive to be used for shark fin soup.
The fish are then returned to the water but without their fins, they are particularly vulnerable to predators and blood loss and suffer a drawn-out death, according to Sharks World.
In another French territory, a tourist was attacked by a shark off the coast of Tahiti last week.
The 35-year-old woman was swimming off Moorea island when an oceanic Whitetip shark ripped into her chest and arms.
The woman was airlifted to hospital and has lost both her hands, according to AFP.
The number of shark attacks globally is relatively low, numbering between 70 and 100 annually, with around 15 of them fatal.
The US currently has the highest number of confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in the world.