Woman ‘bitten’ by blue shark says ‘scary’ snorkel trip shouldn’t ruin wild animal’s reputation

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A pair of blue sharks in waters off Cornwall (Alexander Mustard/PA Media)
A pair of blue sharks in waters off Cornwall (Alexander Mustard/PA Media)

A woman is believed to have been bitten in the leg by a blue shark as she snorkeled off the coast off Penzance in Cornwall.

The diver was rescued from the “extremely rare” shark attack on Thursday by the coastguard.

She was left in the care of paramedics after the HM Coastguard took her to Penzance harbour.

In a statement released through the Blue Shark Snorkel Trips the survivor said: “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.

“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 possibly could.

“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. “

HM Coastguard confirmed that it is believed the injury was caused by a suspected shark bite – the 30th blue shark bite ever recorded worldwide.

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

Blue shark attacks on humans are extremely rare (Alamy/PA)
Blue shark attacks on humans are extremely rare (Alamy/PA)

Although blue sharks are the most common species of shark in UK waters, they rarely bite humans.

They usually feed on small fish and squid, and can live for around 20 years.

The British Sea Fishing website reports: “Blue shark attacks on humans are extremely rare but have been recorded. In total, on a worldwide basis, there are four confirmed cases of fatal blue shark attacks on humans with 25 confirmed non-fatal attacks.”

In 2018 an angler was seriously injured after he was bitten by a shark while fishing off the coast of Cork, Ireland.

He suffered a serious lower arm injury while deep-sea angling.

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