Woman Attacked By Blue Shark At Penzance Harbour, Cornwall, England

A snorkeler in Cornwall has been bitten by a shark in the most serious attack of its kind in British waters since 1847, resulting in the woman being rescued by coastguards.

The woman was bitten by a shark during an organised snorkelling trip
The woman was bitten by a shark during an organised snorkelling trip

The woman was attacked by the shark during a snorkelling trip being operated by a local tour company, before being rescued by coastguards.


The trip was organised to give snorkellers a chance to get up close and personal with blue sharks, one of several shark species that are known to migrate from the Atlantic to the West Cornwall coast during the summer months.


However, during the drive, one of the blue sharks reportedly turned and bit the woman.



The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "HM Coastguard sent the Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team to meet a snorkeler who suffered a suspected shark bite. "The coastguard was notified just before 12.30pm on Thursday, July 28. It is believed the swimmer suffered a leg injury.


"The coastguard team met the casualty at Penzance harbour to assist with passing them into the care of the ambulance service."


Details of the attack are scarce at the moment and the victim has not been named, and no details have been released as to whether the shark came into contact with any other members of the tour group.


The last recorded shark attack in the UK was at Felixstowe in 2006 when a windsurfer's board was bitten by a shark. The windsurfer suffered no injuries in the incident.



The British Sea Fishing website said: "Blue shark attacks on humans are extremely rare but have been recorded. In total, on a worldwide basis, there are four confirmed cases of fatal blue shark attacks on humans with twenty-five confirmed non-fatal attacks. "In August 2012 a beach in Ceredigion, Wales, was closed to bathers due to the presence of a blue shark. "The shark was spotted swimming in between boats and came very close to the shore, swimming past tourists in just a few feet of water. Later in the same month, another beach in West Dorset had to be closed for an hour and a half due to another blue shark."


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