Shark alert: Beach evacuated off coast of Devon

Basking sharks are back in high numbers this year Photo: Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife/PA

Surfers and swimmers were evacuated from a Devon beach after a shark’s fin was spotted in the water.

A member of the public raised the alarm after ­spotting it around offshore at Croyde Bay.

RNLI beach lifeguards advised people to leave the water as a precaution as the fin was inside a ‘safe swimming’ zone.

Conservation charity The Shark Trust says it's “highly likely” it was a basking shark.

Earlier this month Cornwall Wildlife Trust said they were back in Cornish waters in higher numbers than last summer, with 28 sightings made in June alone.

Often referred to as “gentle giants”, basking sharks are slow moving and generally harmless filter feeders.

The Shark Trust, a UK charity which works for shark conservation, would like people to contact them to report any suspected shark sightings.