A snorkeler off the coast of Cornwall in south-west England suffered a leg injury after apparently being ‘bitten by a shark’.
The woman, who has not been named, was rescued by Her Majesty’s Coastguard on Thursday near Penzance in what is believed to be the first shark attack of its kind in British waters since 1874.
HM Coastguard has since confirmed that a rescue team was dispatched to offer assistance following the shark attack.
“HM Coastguard has dispatched the Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team to attend to a snorkeler suspected of being bitten by a shark,” a spokesperson for the Coastguard Agency said in a statement.
“The Coast Guard was notified by 12:30 on Thursday (July 28). The swimmer is believed to have injured his leg.
“The coastguard team met the casualty at Penzance harbor to hand over to the ambulance service.”
The woman was snorkeling when the incident happened.
Blue Shark Snorkel Trips, which organizes the tour, said in a statement that “these incidents are extremely rare and can easily be misunderstood.”
“As we know, these things can happen when we choose to interact with wild animals in their environment. The last thing we want is to allow speculation to drag the media into a world of bad press through no fault of the sharks.”
The company said that the person at the scene was given first aid and was able to get off the boat. The snorkeler, whose name was not released, “received additional treatment on shore,” the statement said.
According to the tour organizer, the participant told Blue Shark Snorkel Trips that “however the trip ended, it was amazing to see such majestic creatures in the wild, and I don’t want for one moment to be tarnished by this freak incident. of an already persecuted species.”
No further information was provided on which shark the incident may have involved.
It has the highest annual documented number in the United States shark bites around the world, With only 47 reported in 2021, shark sightings in British waters are extremely rare.
In fact, in 175 years there has not been an unprovoked shark bite in British waters, according to UK charity The Shark Trust.
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