Sea Trust photographer described the moment he snapped the thresher shark near Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire, on Wednesday as a “bloody miracle”
The moment a huge shark leapt out of the sea off the Welsh coast was captured by a stunned photographer.
The long-tailed thresher shark jumped almost fully clear of the water near Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire, on Wednesday with lucky local snapper Ken Barnett there to photograph it.
The species of predator – found in all temperate and tropical oceans – can grow up to 25 feet long but is rarely seen in such shallow waters.
Mr Barnett, a volunteer for the Sea Trust, posted several pics on Twitter, writing: “Shame about the heat haze but such a great sight to see this #ThresherShark leave the water at #StrumbleHead today.”
In a reply he added that as a photographer “if you put in the hours you get the rewards”.
“Luck played a big hand in this though. We missed a pic of a breach the day before so I never thought I’d see another the following day let alone catch it on camera.
“Bloody miracle,” he added.
The thresher is known to stun prey by using its elongated tail as a weapon – though with its small teeth and timid personality is not thought to be a threat to humans.
However, due in part to extensive fishing, it has been listed as vulnerable to extinction by the World Conservation Union since 2007.
It comes after a kayak fisherman narrowly missed the “clutches” of what he believes was the same shark that caused a UK beach to be evacuated on the same day as Ken’s encounter.
Darron Tapper, 54, said the monster fish pulled his fishing rod out of his hands and almost dragged him in with it when it went for his lure on the end of his line.
“If you saw how it took my rod and reel I didn’t stand a chance (if the kayak had gone over). God knows what would have happened, I looked like a seal in my wetsuit,” he said.
“In 13 years I have never ever experienced that, it is a bit of a thrill to think I escaped the clutches.”
There was panic at Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, as beachgoers were told to stay out of the water after multiple sightings of a suspected shark.
In scenes straight out of the movie Jaws, bathers were told to get out of the water after reports of the shark being seen just yards away from the shore.
After his encounter, Darron had returned to the beach to alert lifeguards but they’d already had two reports from beachgoers.
A search party went out on jet-skis to see if they could spot the creature but it wasn’t seen again.
A short video clip, filmed from the edge of the beach shows what could have been the ‘shark’.
On the same day, dad Alan Hayward, 48, said what he believes was a shark “brushed past” his 11-year-old son Henry’s leg.
Alan – who later noticed one of his pics taken at Boscombe showed a ‘fin’ lurking in the water – said his child was “lucky to be alive”.
Asked what kind of shark it may have been, if any, Shark Trust’s Director of Conservation Ali Hood told the Mirror it is impossible to be sure.
“With no photos or clear footage the Shark Trust can only speculate on what was seen,” she said.
“But as UK waters are home to a fascinating diversity of large marine life – dolphins, small whales, bluefin tuna and a variety of sharks – this sighting could be one of many exciting species.”