A British holidaymaker who saw a blue shark swimming in shallow waters while he was staying in Majorca says he was “more excited than scared”.
Tim Prottey-Jones said his wife Angela was getting into the sea at Illetas beach on the Spanish island on Saturday when the shark appeared.
It swam past “calmly, perhaps eerily calmly”, but was “an amazing sight”.
Mr Prottey-Jones, from London, said people rushed out of the sea but got back in again some 25 minutes later.
“We had been on the beach all morning because it was extremely hot and we wanted to leave it as long as possible to enter the water and cool off.”
The 37-year-old said his wife was walking down into the water when he noticed everyone coming out of it in a rush to leave.
“I joked with Angela, ‘It’s because you’re going in everyone’s coming out’. That’s when I saw this fin swim past in the shallow water very near to where everyone was standing, near where the water was,” Mr Prottey-Jones said.
“The shark swam straight past us very calmly – eerily calm. It was an amazing sight because you just don’t expect to see this beautiful animal.”
Despite thinking the fish could have been between 6ft and 8ft long (1.8-2.4 metres), Mr Prottey-Jones said he did not feel scared. He shouted and pointed to Mrs Prottey-Jones to alert her and threw her his phone to capture the moment.
“I was more excited than scared because I’d never seen anything like it. It was a surreal experience – I want to see it again.”
Asked how others on the beach reacted, he said there was “a little bit of hysteria but it wasn’t manic screaming”.
He added: “Parents with young children in the water were most recognisably worried by it. Having little kids in there was probably the biggest worry.”
But Mr Prottey-Jones said that, with no further sign of the shark, it was less than half-an-hour before holidaymakers were venturing back into the sea. He said the shark “didn’t feel threatening” but admitted that, if it had moved in an aggressive way, then it would have been different.
It was later reported the shark had been captured and killed. Ali Hood, director of conservation at the Shark Trust, said a hook was found embedded in the fish’s mouth by local aquarium staff.
She explained this was likely to have affected the shark’s “ability to hunt and feed effectively, and may explain its uncharacteristic behaviour, swimming so close in to shore”.
Three facts about blue sharks
- They are found in tropical waters worldwide from the eastern Atlantic Ocean including Norway to South Africa, and in the Mediterranean as well as the western Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. But the shark is native to the Mediterranean.
- They can grow to a maximum size of 383cm (12.5ft).
- It is thought to be the most heavily fished shark being mainly taken as a bycatch with their fins prized in Asia.
According to the International Shark Attack File compiled by the University of Florida’s museum of natural history, blue sharks have been responsible for 13 shark attacks since 1580, four of which were fatal. That compares with 314 for great white sharks, of which 80 were fatal.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40405576