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Woman Attacked By Shark Off UK Coast In 'First Incident For 175 Years'

Daisy Phillipson

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Woman Attacked By Shark Off UK Coast In 'First Incident For 175 Years'

A woman is believed to have been attacked by a shark off the UK coast in the 'first incident of its kind in 175 years'.

HM Coastguard reported that the female swimmer, who had been on a snorkelling trip in Penzance harbour in Cornwall, suffered from a suspected shark bite on her leg.

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

Paramedics rushed to the scene, which unfolded last Thursday (28 July), to tend to the woman.

A spokesperson 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. 

The last recorded unprovoked shark attack in the UK was in 1847. Credit: Unsplash
The last recorded unprovoked shark attack in the UK was in 1847. Credit: Unsplash

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

No more details such as the name of the woman or species of shark have been released at the time of writing.

Shark attacks are incredibly rare in the UK, with no recorded unprovoked incidents occurring since the mid-1800s.

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

The local information site says: "As a result of the Covid lockdown and reduced marine traffic, there has been a recent invasion as a result of the reduced traffic on water."

Shark attacks in British waters are extremely rare. Credit: Unsplash
Shark attacks in British waters are extremely rare. Credit: Unsplash

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

A number of brutal attacks have been recorded in other countries this summer, including two women who tragically died in Egypt last month.

Both incidents happened within 600 metres of each other, off the coast of Sahl Hasheesh, leading local authorities to shut down several Red Sea beaches temporarily as the shark-related deaths were investigated.

Over in the US, a swimmer in California was attacked by what was believed to be one of the biggest great white sharks in the world.

Steve Bruemmer, 62, was swimming off Lover's Point in Pacific Grove in June when he was savaged by the shark, causing injuries to his stomach, arms and legs.

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Bruemmer had been in the sea alone when the attack occurred – but thanks to the quick actions of onlookers, he was pulled ashore by a surf instructor and two paddleboarders, who ultimately saved his life.

Miraculously, despite losing more than 25 pints of blood, Bruemmer has recovered from the injuries, which were described as some of the worst bites ever seen.

Featured Image Credit: JANE MORGAN/Alamy/Peter Cripps/Alamy

Topics: Animals, UK News

Daisy Phillipson
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