Updated: Sep 8, 2021
A popular Bournemouth beach was evacuated on Wednesday following reports of a "large marine animal" believed to be a shark was spotted metres away from the shore.
Lifeguards quickly evacuated swimmers from the popular Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth on Wednesday as they lept onto jet skis searching the sea for the reported large marine animal that was seen close to the shore.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said it received reports of “significant movement” in the water. A witness described seeing a fin, but lifeguards were unable to formally identify the animal.
The UK does have a number of native shark species, though none are considered dangerous to bathers or fishermen.
Sharks found in the UK
Believe it or not, here in the UK we actually have quite a large amount of sharks that live in the British waters all year round, according to the Shark Trust, there are at least 21 species of shark as well as 11 species of deepwater sharks in the water around Britain.
Small-spotted catsharks, angel sharks and nursehounds are among those that you can see all year round, however, sightings of them are rare.
“You’re very unlikely to encounter one during a trip to the beach. But you may find evidence of small-spotted catsharks or nursehounds,” the Shark Trust says.
“These species reproduce by laying eggs. And you can often find their empty egg cases washed up in the strandline.”
Sharks spotted in UK waters
Bluntnose sixgill shark
Leafscale gulper shark
Longnose velvet dogfish
Sharpnose sevenfin shark
Smooth hammerhead shark
Some of the deep ocean swelling sharks that lurk around in the British waters include the gulper shark, kitefin shark, black dogfish and the Portuguese dogfish.
In the months between May and October, it is often possible to catch a glimpse of a basking shark - basking sharks are the second biggest fish in the world after the whale shark. Although basking sharks may be intimidating in size they live off plankton and are not dangerous to humans.
We also get the occasional seasonal visitor, these include the blue shark and shortfin mako, very rarely but it has been known for us to get a visit from the smooth hammerhead and frilled shark.
Some of these much rarer shark species could potentially be dangerous to humans, however, there have been no unprovoked shark bites in British waters since records began all the way back in 1847.