Scottish Fisherman Recalls Moment He Was Attacked By Deadly 8ft 'Mini Jaws'
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The UK isn’t known for its shark attacks but there’s one incident that took place on local shores and looked like a scene straight out of Jaws.
Back in 2011, a Scottish fisherman made headlines when he narrowly escaped an attack from a giant 8ft shark in the Inner Hebrides.
Contrary to popular belief, an estimated 40 species of sharks inhabit the waters around the British Isles from one end of the year to the other.
The most common shark spotted in the UK is the porbeagle. A cousin of the Great White, the porbeagle can grow to a whopping 12ft in length and looks scarily similar to its infamous relative.
Scottish skipper Hamish Currie found himself in a painful and terrifying situation with such a shark when one ended up on his boat off the isle of Islay.
"There had been reports of him attacking seals off the island," Currie told BBC Breakfast at the time, "So I figured I'd go up and tag him, but I got more than I bargained for."
And the pictures speak for himself, with one photo showing his boot torn to shreds after the encounter.
Sharks have been known to swim close to shorelines to look for seals to feed on. Track and tag programs, like the one Hamish is part of, are used to alert locals of possible sharks in the area.
"They're an identical fish to the Great White, on a smaller scale. They're the closest cousin to the Great White shark."
As part of the program, Hamish tags the shark and releases it back into the water, with as little harm as possible caused to the fish or himself.
But on that day Currie found himself in a fierce struggle with a large porbeagle. Once on the boat's deck, it somehow managed to latch onto his foot. Thankfully crewman Andrew Logan's quick thinking saved the day. Logan managed to get hold of the shark's tail as it chewed on his workmate's boot, which was very much still on his foot at the time.
"He grabbed the shark by the tail, and it was like a tug of war."
It certainly could've been worse for Currie, who managed to get away from the creature relatively injury-free.
"I would just like to give thanks to my crewman Andrew Logan. If he didn't pull the shark off me, god knows what would've happened. It finished up with my boot in its mouth."
When questioned about the difficulty of hunting sharks, he was quick to point out that it's not an activity suitable for everyone.
"It's never easy hunting any shark – they're a big animal."
Another Scottish trawler, the Mizpah, had a run-in with a porbeagle shark in 2014, this time just 15 miles off of the coast of Tyne in The North Sea.
The fishing boat ended up with the porbeagle on its deck, much to the dismay of the fisherman expecting their usual catch of prawns.
Tony Asiamah, owner of Seaview Fisheries at North Shields, North Tyneside, bought the shark from the fishing boat.
Human deaths from shark attacks are, thankfully, extremely rare. If a shark does bite a human, it tends to let go quickly, as was the case of a man in San Francisco who was bitten by a shark while searching for crabs in the water.
He described the initial sensation as similar to a "mosquito bite."
The feared Great White is more likely to be spotted in warmer waters like Australia. A family there recently had a terrifying encounter with one when it appeared to circle their boat and attack the motor.
Most sharks are harmless to humans, but a few months ago there was a reported sighting of a Great White shark off the coast of Goring-by-Sea in West Sussex.
While rarely spotted in this part of the world, the great white can grow nearly six and a half meters, a staggering 21ft in length.