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A woman has been bitten by a shark while snorkelling off the coast of Cornwall

It’s thought to be the first attack of its kind in 175 years

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

Shark here, whale there, jellyfish everywhere: we write about these kinds of maritime sightings all the time. But rarely does the story morph into something a whole lot more terrifying.

And yet here we are. A woman has apparently been bitten by a blue shark while snorkelling off the coast of Cornwall – the first unprovoked attack on a human in British waters since 1847.

The HM Coastguard was called out at around 12.30pm last Thursday to assist a snorkelling team near Penzance. There they found a woman who had suffered a suspected shark bite to the leg and took her to hospital, where she has since recovered.

Several different species of shark, including blues, porbeagle sharks and basking sharks, visit the waters off Cornwall each year. But attacks are generally very rare. In fact, the official British Sea Fishing website says only four fatal blue shark attacks have ever been recorded, anywhere in the world. So although it’s just a little bit terrifying that the UK has witnessed its first shark attack in nearly two centuries, there’s basically no reason to panic. None whatsoever!

ICYMI: the ‘world’s longest animal’ has been spotted off the coast of Wales.

Plus: this majestic bird was once extinct in the UK – but now there are 100 in our skies.

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