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Woman Attacked By Shark Off UK Coast In 'Freak Event' Speaks Out

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Woman Attacked By Shark Off UK Coast In 'Freak Event' Speaks Out

The woman attacked by a suspected shark off the coast of the UK has spoken out about the ‘very scary incident’, having thanked everyone who helped her for their ‘amazing actions’. 

The unnamed woman had been on a snorkelling trip in Penzance harbour last Thursday (28 July) when her leg was injured. 

After being brought back to shore, she received medical attention from paramedics before being taken to hospital for stitches. 

Having later been released, the woman said in a statement: “I just wanted to say that despite how the trip ended, it was amazing to see such majestic creatures in the wild and I don’t for a second want this freak event to tarnish the reputation of an already persecuted species. 

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"I wanted to thank everyone for their amazing actions. What was a very scary incident was made so much easier by the kindness and calmness of the people around me. 

"Thank you to the trip team for getting me back to shore quickly and carefully and making me feel as safe as I possible could." 

Penzance Harbour. Credit: robertharding/Alamy Stock Photo
Penzance Harbour. Credit: robertharding/Alamy Stock Photo

She added: "We all take these risks when we enter the habitat of a predator and we can never completely predict the reactions of a wild animal." 

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After the incident, HM Coastguard said it is believed the injury was caused by a suspected shark bite.

If confirmed, it would mark the first incident of its kind in 175 years.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said: "HM Coastguard sent 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. 

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

According to Historic Cornwall, there are four predatory shark species that frequent the Cornwall coast, including the blue, porbeagle, thresher and mako shark.

Blue sharks cruise beneath the surface of the English Channel. Credit: Contributor: Nature Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo
Blue sharks cruise beneath the surface of the English Channel. Credit: Contributor: Nature Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo

But overall, attacks in British waters tend to occur only when the sea creatures are provoked during human activities such as fishing.

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If the shark bite is confirmed it will be the first unprovoked shark attack in British waters since 1847. 

The boat tour agency that organised the woman’s snorkelling trip warned against drumming up ‘bad press’ for sharks in the wake of the incident. 

It said in a statement: "As we know, these things can happen when we choose to interact with wild animals in their own environment. 

"The last thing we want is to let speculation drive the media into a world of bad press for the sharks, under no fault of their own." 

Featured Image Credit: Gordon Scammell/Alamy Nature Picture Library/Alamy

Topics: UK News, Animals

Jess Hardiman
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