People get rare April sighting of a basking shark in Cornwall

  • Video from AK Wildlife Cruises/APEX

A basking shark spotted in Falmouth Bay is thought to be the first sighting of the species in Cornwall this year.

The videos of the gentle giant were captured by crew member and wildlife guide Georgia Bardua on Easter Sunday.

Veteran cruise operator Captain Keith B Leeves said he was astonished to see the shark so early in the year.Captain Keith Leeves said: "We were amazed and delighted to record this basking shark, estimated at 18ft in length. It is possibly our earliest ever sighting.

"We were shocked at how warm the water was for this time of year, with a surface temperature of 12.2°C."

Basking sharks are usually seasonal visitors, arriving in large numbers between May and October each year. 

The shark was spotted on Easter Sunday in Falmouth Bay. Credit: AK Wildlife Cruises/APEX

The basking shark is one of the safest sharks you could encounter. Despite its enormous size, it feeds on zooplankton, small fish and invertebrates.

The shark can grow to 26ft in length and live for up to 50 years.

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