A great white shark is hunting off the coast of the UK, a fishing expert has claimed.
Fisherman Graeme Pullen said he has been searching for the animal along England’s south coast for the past two years.
The Hampshire angler reeled in the largest shark ever caught in Britain, but he thinks something even bigger is out there.
‘Make no mistake, this is the big one,’ he told The Mirror.
‘This is surely Britain’s first great white – and it’ll be coming back this summer.
‘The danger is this shark will eventually stumble across someone in a wetsuit and mistake them for a seal.’
Mr Pullen, who has caught hundreds of shark species in the past 40 years, said a great white had been sighted on a number of occasions in the past two years off Hayling Island, Hampshire.
‘This is no basking shark, no porbeagle, blue or mako,’ he said. ‘Others have also given details of their sightings and this is not miles out to sea but close to shore, mostly hunting in the estuaries.’
Commercial skipper Pete Williams claims he saw the shark in August 2015.
‘It was huge, the biggest shark I have seen, and it looked like a great white,’ he told The Mirror.
‘It literally wrenched the net out of my arms and ripped through it like it was tissue paper.
‘I saw it within a few feet. It had huge teeth, piercing eyes. It was at least 12ft.
‘Over the years, with warmer temperatures, we’ve seen different species. There is no reason why a species like that can’t be kicking around, especially now I have seen what I did.’
Mr Pullen’s claims come just days after British holidaymakers got up close and personal with a smaller blue shark on a beach in Mallorca.
Some local beaches on the Balearic island were evacuated after the 8ft long shark was washed up on the shore. The animal was later destroyed because it had suffered a serious head wound, reportedly caused by a harpoon.
Mr Pullen, who runs the Totally Awesome Fishing website and tags sharks for the US National Marines Fisheries Service, caught a porbeagle shark off the coast of Bostcastle, Cornwall, in 2012, that was 3m long and weighed 250kg. The shark was tagged and returned to the water.
He warned that a great white could return this summer.
‘This shark has moved into the island’s waters, found a rich food source and we believe it is returning each year to feed on the seals and bass,’ he said.
‘It is hunting in water only feet deep. I would love to have been the first to tag one but you have to balance the fact that this shark will eventually stumble across someone in a black wetsuit and mistake it for a seal.’