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Nantucket man takes time out of vacation to wrestle shark

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 18th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's an arresting image, one that calls forth the eternal struggle of man versus nature. Twenty-four-year-old Elliot Sudal, a recent transplant to Nantucket, Massachusetts is seen wrestling a seven-foot shark onto the shore. Sudal says it comes naturally to him as an avid fisherman .

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "First of all, I'm obsessed with fishing," Sudal tells reporters. "I've caught over 100 sharks in the last eight months. It's my favorite thing to do."

As a testament that the photo is not faked, the Nantucket Police Marine Department confirmed to ABC News that Sudal really did wrestle the shark ashore.

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Sudal explains that he was in search of bluefish when he sensed there were sharks lurking nearby. "It just kind of seemed 'sharky,'" Sudal says. "There was something coming by and chomping them [the bluefish] in half. I thought, 'It's got to be a shark.'"

Sudal then took a partially eaten bluefish, put it on his fishing line, and cast it out. Within two minutes, he had shark on the other end of the line.

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Grappling with the shark on the fishing rod for about 45 minutes, the shark eventually gave up. Sudal then handed the rod to his cousin and charged into the waves.

"The crazy part is you have to run into the water and grab it by the tail and put it on shore," Sudal said.

Twenty spectators had gathered on shore to witness him drag the shark to shore. "Everyone was freaking out, I got a slow clap when I was walking away," Sudal says.

"I've been fishing for everything since I was a kid," he adds. "I got into this shark thing about two years ago. It's just like this epic battle between you and this sea beast. You can't go back to a little fish after that. Everything else is bait."

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Sudal says that the shark was out of the water for only a minute. "I always let the sharks go," he said. "It's important to release these things. I'm very conservation-minded when it comes to taking care of them."

Beachgoers are no strangers to the prowling "eating machines." Last month a video emerged of a teen hitching a ride on a 30-foot whale shark. In June, a group of fishermen caught a record-breaking 1,300 pound shark off the coast of California.

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There has been an increase in the number of great white shark sightings along the coast of Cape Cod, though officials are not planning on closing any beaches because of them.

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