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Last People Killed By A Shark In UK Was Only 66 Years Ago After It Exploded

Joe Harker

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Last People Killed By A Shark In UK Was Only 66 Years Ago After It Exploded

The last people to be killed by a shark in the UK died in an extremely unorthodox manner, they were blown up by an exploding shark.

Sharks tend not to be a bother for Brits, though last week a woman was attacked by a shark which bit her leg in what is thought to be the 'first incident of its kind in 175 years'.

It's thought to be the first unprovoked shark attack in UK waters since 1847, whereas the incredible tale from 66 years ago was a far stranger story.

According to Cornwall Live, a pair of men were killed by an exploding shark off the Cornwall coast in August 1956.

A porbeagle shark is thought to be the type that exploded, killing two men. Credit: BIOSPHOTO / Alamy Stock Photo
A porbeagle shark is thought to be the type that exploded, killing two men. Credit: BIOSPHOTO / Alamy Stock Photo

An inquest into the deaths found that 46-year-old Leslie Nye and 30-year-old Richard Kirby were killed and two other men injured when a shark swam underneath their boat and blew up.

Also aboard the boat were Joseph Brooks, a Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander and Petty Officer L Spicer, who were both badly wounded in the subsequent blast.

Sharks don't normally explode of their own volition, they prefer to bite you rather than bomb you, but this one had a very good reason for detonating.

In this case, the two men saw the shark swimming towards their boat while dragging along a rope with a pair of bombs attached to it.

This creature wasn't some secret Soviet anti-ship device developed to train and weaponize sharks, the men had just thrown the explosives at the shark themselves in an attempt to scare it off or kill it.

The shark had been spotted the day before getting dangerously close to navy divers and was seen making a bid to bite one of them before being scared off.

Porthkerris Beach, Cornwall, where the exploding shark attack occurred 66 years ago. Credit: Martin Cooke / Alamy Stock Photo
Porthkerris Beach, Cornwall, where the exploding shark attack occurred 66 years ago. Credit: Martin Cooke / Alamy Stock Photo

Preferring to deal with the shark before sending divers back into the sea the next day, Brooks decided to get rid of it once and for all.

The four men set out in a dinghy where they threw the bombs at the shark before turning away to avoid the resulting explosion.

Sadly, the shark turned and continued making straight for their boat, swimming underneath it right as the bombs detonated, blasting both shark and boat to smithereens.

The coroner recorded cause of death in both cases as 'misadventure', because 'bombed by a shark that blew you up with your own explosives' is not a story most people are going to believe.

Apparently a lot of people didn't believe it at the time, thinking the story of an exploding shark was a cover up to hide the testing of new types of explosives during the Cold War.

Considering the alternative explanation is 'they were blown up by an exploding shark', it's easy to understand why people might be sceptical of the official story.

Featured Image Credit: Ian Dagnall/Alamy Stock Photo / Doug Perrine/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Animals, UK News

Joe Harker
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