While on an excursion on Nov. 22, the fishermen set out in the early morning hoping to catch some wahoo fish, according to Fox News. They caught a lot more than they bargained for.
Not long into the trip, Kai Survance, who posts his fishing exploits on Kai Owen Fishing YouTube channel, captured the moment on camera.
“We were three miles off-shore and it was splashing around. We thought it was a marlin actually,” Survance told Fox News.
What they thought to be a marlin at first turned out to be a massive tiger shark. As they drew nearer in their boat, they saw something thrashing in the shark’s mouth. A loggerhead turtle was caught from behind in the apex predator’s massive jaws, with the turtle’s front flippers and head sticking out.
For the fishermen, it was “a once-in-a-lifetime” sight and they were in awe.
But they didn’t dare reach out to help the turtle with the shark still so near. “I didn’t wanna stick my hand out there, that tiger shark was massive,” said Survance.
The excitement got even more intense as the turtle’s front was hoisted partially onto the boat’s stern. The reptile’s flippers flailed on the rear platform of the boat.
Still wanting to help the the sea turtle, they soon saw an opportunity when the tiger shark released its grip, allowing the turtle to float freely long enough for them to reach in and lift it out of the water.
Hoping to deliver the EXTREMELY lucky loggerhead from peril, the fishermen drove off to relocate it to a safer spot in the ocean.
“We backed up the boat and grabbed it … went three or four miles toward shallow water,” said Survance.
The fisherman added, “It was once-in-a-lifetime. I’ve spent countless hours on the water. From when I could walk and swim, I’ve been on the water … and that’s gotta be one of the craziest things I’ve seen.”
He posted the rare and incredible footage on TikTok where it went viral and garnered media attention on both sides of the Pacific.