Many of us have been forced to cut short a boating or fishing outing for one reason or another - weather, engine trouble, an emergency back on land.
Humphrey Simmons called off a fishing trip in the Bahamas because he caught a 13-foot tiger shark that regurgitated a human leg. Simmons hooked up with the 800-pounder on the morning of Sept. 4 while fishing with two friends from his 2002 30-foot, twin-outboard Pursuit express about 38 miles south of Nassau.
Bahamian authorities later found a second leg, two severed arms and a severed torso inside the shark's belly. The likely victim is 43-year-old Judson Newton, a boater who had gone missing several days earlier, according to published reports. Newton reportedly was fishing off an area known as "Jaws Beach" - where the final "Jaws" movie was filmed - when he had engine trouble and went into the water to pull the boat ashore.
Simmons was fishing with his friends Stanley Bernard and Keith Ferguson at about 8 a.m. They shot the shark after twice relocating to elude the massive fish because it was stealing their catch as they brought it to the surface.
"We were not fishing for shark, which is important for people to know," says Simmons, 45, a banker who lives in Cable Beach, Nassau.
They hooked the tiger shark three times and killed it on the third encounter. "As I was pulling him up, as soon as he hit the surface of the water, Stanley shot him in the head," says Simmons. "We pulled him to the side of the boat. I gaffed him and ... as I was leaning over and trying to cut him loose, out popped a leg - a human leg. At that point I was trying to keep my composure. I gaffed the leg and put it into the boat."
As the anglers pulled the dead shark to the boat, their nostrils told them something wasn't right.
"Sharks are normally rank and smell, but this one was just abnormally rank," says Simmons. "It was the worst scent I have ever smelled."
Read the full story in the January issue of Soundings magazine.
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