Shark Wrestling
A Story Of Best Laid Schemes

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DanDawson.gif (22526 bytes)    RonWhite.gif (73765 bytes)
Don Dawson                    Ron White

Balboa resident Ron White recalls the time he and Don Dawson  - who was the skipper to all three Catalina ferries - decided to go into the swordfish business in the late 1970s.

Don installed a plank - a small platform extending from the bow of the boat for harpooning- on  his 35 foot cabin cruiser, "The Irish Rover." 

For practice, the two men decided to go after a few sharks first.

It didn't take long to discover that Don couldn't hit anything with a harpoon, so Ron took over.

Standing on the plank Ron was just ready to thrust the harpoon into a shark when the boat's stainless steel wire rail broke. Tangled in the wire, Ron fell overboard into the sea and on top of the shark.

As Ron was trying to push away from the boat to keep out of the way of the props,

he looked up to see Don with a shotgun in his hands.

Ron recalls, "I thought Don was going to kill me for breaking the boat" Don yelled to Ron, "Can you swim?," to which Ron replied, "Sure I Can." Don in return yelled, "Then you better start, that shark is on your ass."

That afternoon the pair went into Dillman's Restaurant and threw a five foot blue shark on the bar, clearing the place out.