A woman on a blue shark snorkelling trip near Penzance in Cornwall was bitten in the leg last week. Shark attacks in UK waters are extremely rare – the last reported was in 1847. In last week’s incident, the women received minor leg injuries
The trip was run by the Blue Shark Snorkel Trips who run day trips to dive with blue sharks which frequent the waters around Cornwall during the summer months.
Her injuries were minor and she was able to get back on the tour boat and was met at the harbour by coast guards.
A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘The coastguard was notified just before 12.30 pm on Thursday 28 July. HM Coastguard sent Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team to meet the snorkeller who suffered a suspected shark bite.’
In a statement released through Blue Shark Snorkel Trips, the woman, who has not been named, 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.
‘I want 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.’
On Tuesday afternoon, Blue Shark Snorkel Trips issued a statement that said such occurrences are ‘extremely rare and can be easily misunderstood’.
It added: ‘The last thing we want is to let speculation drive the media into a world of bad press for the sharks, under no fault of their own.
‘We immediately enacted our emergency response plan, with first aid being carried out on the person involved.
‘Following advice and assessment from the coastguard, the person walked off the boat and received further treatment ashore.’