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Shark bites woman snorkeler off the Cornish coast

A woman snorkeler has been bitten by a shark off the Cornish coast.

It’s thought to be the first attack on a person in British waters for more than 175 years.

The woman was rescued by the coastguard after being bitten during a trip run by a specialist tour firm.

It had been organized to give snorkelers a close-up view of blue sharks – one of several species that migrate to West Cornwall during the summer months.

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During the dive one of the sharks is said to have turned and bitten the woman.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency 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.”

The British Sea Fishing website said:

“Blue shark attacks on humans are extremely rare but have been recorded.

“In total, on a world-wide basis, there are four confirmed cases of fatal blue shark attacks on humans with twenty-five confirmed non-fatal attacks

“’In August 2012 a beach in Ceredigion, Wales was closed to bathers due to the presence of a blue shark.

“The shark was spotted swimming in between boats and came close to the shore, swimming past tourists in just a few feet of water.

“Later in the same month another beach in West Dorset had to be closed for an hour and a half due to another blue shark.”

 

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