Shark spotted metres from shore in Cornwall

Nine-foot-long ocean giant seen in St Ives

Tom Barnes
Tuesday 17 July 2018 16:56
Shark caught on camera swimming in St Ives Harbour

A shark spotted swimming in shallow water through a Cornish harbour prompted alarm among onlookers.

The creature, thought to be a blue shark, was seen metres from the shore by boat workers in St Ives.

Video footage of the sighting was captured by Harry Hocking and Archie Pickin, of St Ives Boat Rides, who had been standing on the harbour slipway.

“It is definitely one of biggest I have seen. It must have been about 8 to 9ft long,” Mr Hocking told Cornwall Live.

“It was swimming along for a good two to three minutes and went towards west pier before leaving the harbour.

“A lot of people noticed and by the time it left there were dozens of people watching from the harbour wall.

“People have already been saying they won’t be swimming now, I don’t think it was a basking shark.”

The blue shark is a migratory animal and is known to frequent waters around Britain during warmer months.

Males can grow almost three metres long (9ft 6ins), while females can reach closer to 3.2 metres in length (10ft 7ins).

Conservation charity the Shark Trust described the incident as “unusual”, advising those in the area to give it space until it moves back offshore to its usual habitat.

“Blue sharks are seasonal visitors to British waters, although they are an oceanic species not commonly encountered this close to shore,” the group said in a post on Facebook.

“That said, it's not unprecedented to see one in such shallow waters – with similar instances recorded here in the UK and overseas from time to time.

“To see a free-swimming blue shark close to shore like this is a real privilege. Blue sharks – like all sharks – are wild animals and must be treated with respect.”

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