Shark Attacks Page

Shark Research

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Sea Animal Attacks

Great White Sharks
These breed in the Mediterranean sea near Tunisia, but are rarely seen in the inshore waters of the UK. This is presumably because the seal population around the UK is so low these days. However, now fishermen are no longer allowed to kill the Grey seals (they are a protected species) and waters are becoming less polluted, we can expect to see the population of UK seals to increase. This is likely to attract sharks in the long run, and increase the risk to water users of shark attacks.

Dolphins Several schools of dolphins patrol the waters of England. I've seen three dolphins swin into Fistral Bay at Newquay and dive into a crowd of surfers. It was along way away but I thought they looked to be about 10-12 feet long. Apparantly (I've not done it), being overtaken by dolphins who are surfing the same wave as you is an awesome and terrifying experience. Although the behaviour of Dolphins seems generally friendly, the size and speed at which they go must be terrifying if they pass close by. Rumour has it that sharks and Dolphins are enemies. However evidence for this is sketchy. So if you see a seal, beware of sharks, if you see a dolphin, you're may be safer.

Dolphins occasionally attack humans but reported cases are very rare indeed. In December 1994, a Dolphin called Tiao head butted swimmers off a beach near Sao Paulo, Brazil. One of them died and the another ended up in hospital.

25th August 1999
UK, North Cornwall
Padstow Fisherman spots 15-18ft Great White Shark

10/11th August 1999 (Eclipse Day)
UK, North Cornwall, Newquay
Seals attack swimmers and surfers in Newquay Harbour.

Soggy Dinner in Sydney

A body was discovered floating off Botany Bay by a fishing boat, who called the water-police to investigate. The police arrived and were in the process of dragging the body out of the water, when a large great white shark suddenly appeared alongside the corpse, and grabbed the body right out of the hands of the police and disappeared with it into the depths! The police later said that the body was that of a male, and it looked as if it had been in the water for a few days. They estimated the shark to be about 4 metres long, and definately a great white. The shark was thought to be the same one that had attacked two men abord a paddle ski further south down the coast a few days previously. Experts said that it was highly unusual for the great whites to come this far up the coast, they were very surprised to find them as far north as Sydney!

Notes for UK Surfers

  • Shark attacks rarely occur in the UK
  • Most sharks in UK waters are fairly harmless

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