Written By: Noël Daigle
As a manufacturer of the world’s only Fusion Technology Labels for olefin-based plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene, Mold In Graphic Systems has conducted extensive harsh testing over the last 30+ years on its specialty labels in order to measure durability and life use integrity.
One piece of testing data we never thought we would see, happened off the coast of California last month.
On May 25th, a Great White Shark took a big bite out of the side of a lone fisherman’s kayak when he was in the waters off the coast of Humboldt County, puncturing right through one of Mold In Graphic System’s Fusion Labels promoting the Hobie Kayak Brand!
“Australian scientists say they’ve determined the bite force of a great white shark can reach about 1.8 tons, 20 times greater than a human’s bite. University of New South Wales researchers said, by comparison, a large African lion can produce only about 1,235 pounds of bite force.” 1
The reason the Hobie Cat Fusion Label withstood such pressure? The label is made from the exact same olefin-based plastic the kayak itself is constructed from, resulting in a label that is just as durable as the kayak. While the plastic can be damaged, the label itself did not separate from the side of the plastic boat, despite the crushing weight of a Great White Shark bite piercing directly into it.
We were happy to hear that Mold In Graphics Fusion Labeling Technology, kayak, and most importantly, the fisherman, made it out of the water safely, but not without a rather harrowing experience! Read below for Michael Thallheimer Jr.’s account of surviving this shark attack.
Michael Thallheimer Jr. had taken his kayak out to the waters early that morning to fish. He caught two small Ling Cod and a larger Ling Cod, about 36 inches long. “I put it on my fish clip-I cut through the gills and it pumps all the blood out- as soon as I did that, it wasn’t 30 seconds after, the shark attacked.”
The shark bit right into the middle of the kayak, directly next to his knee and thigh. Reacting quickly, he struck the shark as hard as he could on the end of its nose.
The shark let go, whipping its tail hard as it turned, striking the kayak and Thallheimer in it. As it disappeared under the waves, he began to peddle, trying to get back to shore.
When he was almost halfway to the safety of shore, his kayak began taking on water. He barely succeeded in calling 911 for help just before a wave rolled over the top of him and he and his kayak were flipped over.
Every time he tried to get escape the dark waters back into the relative safety of his kayak, he was spilled back over into the ocean.
“It never left my mind the whole time that the shark might be going to come back. I had a freshly killed fish dangling around my feet because it was clipped to my kayak…I kept telling myself, ‘Be calm. Panic is not going to do any good.’”
Treading water and hanging on to his sinking kayak, he waited for rescue.
Thankfully, the shark did not attack again, and the rescue team along with a local fisherman finally arrived and pulled both Michael and his damaged kayak into the rescue boat.
We are happy to hear Michael escaped this encounter with a Great White Shark! If you’d like to learn more or are looking for a labeling technology for plastics that can withstand even a Great White Shark bite.