A man-eating shark is feared to be prowling the waters off West Cornwall after two separate sightings of the predator considered the most dangerous of its species. The vicious shark, believed to be an oceanic whitetip, was spotted by the occupants of two mackerel fishing boats a mile off the holiday hot-spot of St Ives.
Experts have conceded the description tallies with oceanic whitetips and are investigating the claim. If confirmed, it would mark the first time the creature – responsible for more human deaths than all other shark species combined – had strayed into British waters. One of the fisherman told the Western Morning News how the shark rammed his wooden fishing boat.
The 60-year-old, who has been fishing in St Ives Bay all his life, said it was a clear, calm morning when his attention was caught by the unusual and distinctive mottled white tipped dorsal fin zig-zagging towards him.
“I was interested so I stood up to have a good look at it. As I was looking over the side of the boat, it just slammed into it. Then its head came out of the water by about a foot. It was that close to the boat that it slammed the side of the boat with its body and tail. It came as a bit of a shock. It was aggressive and we don’t tend to have aggressive sharks in these waters.”
The fisherman said he was clearly able to identify the six- to seven-foot long shark and knew it was not a harmless porbeagle, which frequently follow mackerel boats.
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