'Shark' sighting causes chaos at Dorset beach as swimmers are told to evacuate the water
5 August 2021, 11:22
A possible sighting of a shark forced beach-goers to evacuate the water yesterday after lifeguards warned of a 'series hazard in the water'.
People sunbathing and swimming on Boscombe Beach yesterday were forced to evacuate after a shark was reportedly spotted in the water.
On Wednesday, August 4, RNLI lifeguards on the Dorset beach put up red flags before making an announcement telling people to get out of the water.
The red flag is used at beaches in the UK by the RNLI lifeguards a warning to swimmers to leave the water due to 'dangerous conditions'.
Witness Gemma Harris said that the announcement from the lifeguards warned of "large marine wildlife" in the water.
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She explained: "The lifeguard put out a loudspeaker announcement saying 'everyone out of the water, there is marine wildlife in the water..
"Everybody rushed out of the water and the RNLI response was very effective."
She went on: "They checked the water for about half-an-hour before letting bathers back in. Apparently a fin was spotted.
"We heard one of the RNLI team say it was a shark but nothing has been confirmed."
Lifeguards reportedly used jet-skis to check the water was safe before allowing people back onto the beach.
A spokesman for the RNLI said on the matter: "There were sightings of large marine life at Boscombe beach.
"The situation is being closely monitored by RNLI lifeguards who are asking visitors to stay away from the water and have put up red flags."
They added that there were three reports of some kind of "large marine life".
A BCP Council spokesperson commented: "We were made aware by the RNLI that they temporarily closed the beach at Boscombe as a precautionary measure whilst an inspection was carried out in the area.
"The beach is now open again for people to enjoy."
Are their sharks off the Dorset coast?
There is an array of different shark species that hunt off the Dorset coast.
People have had encounters with porbeagle sharks, thresher sharks, basking sharks, dogfish sharks, and a starry smooth hound across the beaches in Dorset.
And while some of these are related to the great white, they are pretty harmless.
- Porbeagle Sharks: Rarely attack humans
- Thresher Sharks: No confirmed deaths and a handful of attacks, but the sharks were provoked
- Basking Shark: Not dangerous to humans
- Hound sharks: Not known to attack humans
- Dogfish Sharks: This small shark lives in deeper waters and is not known to attack humans