Bartholomew Marion Quint was a grizzled, seasoned shark hunter, who once resided on the Island of Amity, MA in the shanty seaside port of Menemsha. Running a bootleg distillery, and a whale oil business, as well as a weekend charter service, Quint captained the "Orca" and became part of local lore after his last trip out to sea in a bid to capture a giant rogue killer shark. Hired to catch the shark, Quint was joined by APD chief of police, Brody, and visiting ichthyologist, Dr. Hooper serving as crew.
The Amity Incident
While the factual Quint was a local shark fisherman / charter boat captain on the Island of Amity during the summer of 1973, there occurred an incident that to this day resonates in popular culture as the defining true 'summer of the shark'. Many believe Quint to have been crucial in preventing further escalation of what is commonly known as the worst incident of shark attacks on record anywhere in the world.
The JAWS log
Culled from Chief Martin Brody's personal police report, a dramatic and telling account of Amity's struggle with the shark known simply as "The JAWS log", was subsequently written by Amity Gazette reporter Harry Meadows in the fall of 1973. The log describes Quint's involvement in the ordeal and sheds light on how the drama unfolded. This JAWS log was then used as the core structure for the screenplay written by Carl Gottlieb. Gottlieb also portrayed Harry meadows in the film adaptation.
Amity PD Police log -- Chief Martin Brody (filed May/1974 0300 hours)
"On June 29th 1973 at approximately 3;00pm the local fisherman known simply as 'Quint' interrupts a frenzied town meeting. While everyone is bickering, he scrapes his nails against a chalkboard to get our attention. After a moment of bewildered silence Quint relates in no uncertain terms that he can in fact catch and kill the shark for $10,000 rather than the meager $3000 offered by the town. After the shark attacks again, I finally get the Mayor to hire Quint.
After brief introductions and a minor squabble between Quint and Matt (Hooper), we leave Menemsha on what I want to state for the record was a boat that I now realize was too small for the task. Never the less, we had no time to deal with the red tape to get coast guard support.
After days of waiting and chumming we spot the damn thing, and its far larger than we're prepared for. Quint at first tries to catch the shark using mini harpoons attached to some kind of air barrels or kegs to keep the shark from diving too deep. It comes to the point where we attach the harpoon ropes to cleats on the back of the Orca - and the shark drags the boat backwards as the Orca's engine is the only thing resisting it's pull. At first we begin to previal but the sharlk wins the tug of war and its clear we aren't gaining ground. What's more, we're taking on water and it looks like we're going to be sinking. We then attempt cutting the ropes loose, but Quint cuts the ropes with a large machete first.
In what I consider a suicidal move, 'Quint' then decides to put the boat at full-throttle to attract the shark to the shallow shoreline and drown it there - but in the process, the boat's engine is fried. Now stranded, we decide to have Hooper enter a shark cage and go into the water, where he tries to inject the shark with a special toxin. Hooper attempts doing so - but according to Matt's account, he drops the stick that had the toxins on it, and it sinks to the ocean bottom. Hooper is then attacked by the shark, and escapes.
Quint pulls the cage back up, revealing it to have been shredded apart by the shark. Just then - the shark breaches the stern of the Orca, and Quint stumbles then retreats into the boat's cabin. With the door open, and the shark's jaws opening and closing, Quint's tries holding onto the table - and in the process, a pressurized scuba tank rolls over his hand causing him to slip, and I clutch his hand - but he continues slipping, and goes out the door closer and closer towards the shark, thrashing around in a desperate attempt to grab something, before the shark clamps his jaws down on his torso. Quint is violently thrashed from side to side, screaming while try to fight off the shark with his machete. The shark clamps down again causing Quint gush up a mouthful of blood you could splattered before he is dragged underwater.
After the shark's demise, Hooper appears, and we share a brief moment of respect for Quint, before we swim to shore using a makeshift raft rigged from two of the remaining yellow kegs."
Following Quint's return from the war in the Pacific, Quint decided to make shark fishing his sole purpose and opened a charter fishing business on the summer resort Island of Amity.
Using what little savings he had for construction supplies, Quint was able to build a two level shack and fishery with his bare hands on the property of an old friend by the name of Chuck Gramling who had promised it to him during the war. On Amity, Quint would scrounge for local pilot whales, and other fish commodities including blue gills, and Tommy cod.
Between fishing seasons Quint sold moonshine from a bootleg distillery making his own apricot brandy which was a favorite among the likes of fishing locals including Ben Gardner. Although there were many police raids done in search of the moonshine Quint was able to avoid legal scrutiny by hiding his stashes of alcohol in kegs stowed on board his boat, ORCA.
Even though the mayor was relentless about disallowing zoning approval, and the local fisherman were constantly filing complaints that Quint was disrupting their trade, he fought each and every complaint using layman's legal knowledge gained from spending months in the local Amity library. Much the the chagrin of librarians unhappy with the constant reek of beer, and the sound of foul language, Quint would sift through legal volumes until he knew he had a good case. Besides legal books, Quint was also fond of pagan mythology. Many believed that it was Quint's maniacal study of sharks and the paranormal that led the shark to choose Amity as its killing ground.