Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Man rescues stranded shark, thinking it was a dolphin

The men rescue the shark on Portreath Beach. Credit: Louise Ashmore / SWNS.com

A man who rescued what he believed was a dolphin, was stunned to realise it was in fact a shark.

Nicolas Andre was on holiday in Cornwall with his wife Ann, when he spotted the 12-foot animal in distress in shallow waters on Portreath Beach.

The animal was being rescued by another man, Mark Ashmore, who initially rushed to help.

It was only when Mr Andre climbed down on to the beach to get closer, did he realise it was a shark that had been trapped by the outgoing tide.

Mr Andre said: "I realised that it was not a dolphin but a basking shark of about four-metres in length. I've never seen a shark that close - let alone touched one in my whole life."

Mark Ashmore spent 30 minutes attempting to rescue the animal before Nicolas Andre arrived. Credit: Ann Andre / SWNS.com

With the help of Mr Ashmore, they wrapped a t-shirt around its tail and pulled it into deeper water.

"It took a few attempts to pull it into the sea as we were waiting for the waves.

"When it was back in the water, I took my t-shirt off the tail and it was a like a switch had been flicked - the shark just flew off," he said.

Mr Andre suffered cuts to his arms and legs in the rescue, but he did not feel the shark was aggressive or dangerous.

Basking sharks regularly visit the Cornish coast in the summer months, but pose no risk to humans as they only eat Plankton and don't have teeth.