Sunday 30 August 2015

Jaws' Quint Based on Shark Hunter Frank Mundus

"This shark swallow you whole." (Quint, Jaws)

Quint was a shark hunter from New Jersey who owned a boat called The Orca.  He operated a whale oil business as well as a bootleg distillery.  After a renegade shark attacks tourists on the jersey shore, Quint is charged with capturing the great white.  He meets a premature death as he battles the shark.

Quint is loosely based on the Montauk, New York shark hunter, Frank Mundus.  As eccentric as he was ostentatious, Mundus spent started chasing the great white in 1951 and dedicated a lifetime to the quest.  The captain of the Cricket II, named for its Jiminy Cricket like profile, he spent hours haunting the Atlantic shore.  

One night Mundus rescued passengers from The Pelican, an overloaded party boat on which 35 of the 54 souls perished.  He continued to search for the great white; his persistence paid off.  In 1986, 28 miles off the coast of Montauk, he captured a shark weighing 3427 pounds, the largest ever caught by rod and reel.  Mundus took great delight in hanging a replica from the Montauk pier.  

Later in life, the shark hunter became a conservationist.  Mundus was featured in a 2005 documentary called "Shark Hunter:  Chasing the Great White".  He passed away in 2008, still searching for the elusive shark.

Frank Mundus, right, with a great white shark courtesy

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