Snorkeler ‘bitten’ in suspected shark attack on British Cornish coast

The unnamed woman was rescued by Her Majesty’s Coastguard after the incident, believed to be the first shark attack of this kind in British waters since 1874, which took place near Penzance on Thursday.

HM Coastguard has since confirmed that a rescue team has been dispatched to provide assistance following the suspected shark attack.

“HM Coastguard sent Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team to meet with a snorkeler believed to have suffered a shark bite,” a spokesman for the Maritime Coastguard Agency said.

“The Coast Guard was informed just before 12.30 pm on Thursday (July 28) that the swimmer suffered a leg injury.

“The Coast Guard team met the victim in Penzance harbor to assist with the transfer to the ambulance service.”

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Reports suggest the woman may have been on a snorkeling trip to spot blue sharks when the incident happened. However, no further details were provided about the snorkeler’s current condition or the type of shark that may have been involved.

While the US has the highest annual number of documented shark bites in the world, with a total of 47 reported in 2021, the presence of sharks in UK waters is very rare.

According to the British charity The Shark Trust, there have been no unprovoked shark bites here in 175 years.

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