Smooth operation to help shark

By Ross Findon

Friday, June 20, 2014

 

Smooth operation to help shark

Crowds gather to watch volunteer beach safety officer Davin Gibbs try to help the shark.

THERE was a shock for swimmers in Ventnor last night (Thursday) when they spotted a shark’s fin in shallow water, just feet from the shore.

Thankfully the fin belonged to a three and a half foot smooth hound — which is a type of shark that enjoys a diet of shellfish and molluscs, rather than swimmers and surfers.

Voluntary beach safety officer Davin Gibbs, 42, paddled out to try to move the smooth hound into deeper water, but it swam away.

"I spotted it later towards the bandstand end. I was a bit worried that the tide was on its way out and if it got stuck there it would die," said Davin.

He then waded out and caught the animal by the tail and managed to bring it ashore, where a fisherman was able to take it out to safety by boat, in front of a crowd of onlookers.

"It caused a bit of excitement," said Davin.

Neil Williams said on Facebook: "Just inadvertently been swimming with a shark. Swimming along Ventnor beach as usual when I heard cries of what sounded like 'shark!'

"Rubbish, I thought and carried on.

"Then there was a crowd and cries were getting louder so I stopped and looked up. Lo and behold a shark thrashing around not 5 metres in front of me. Not huge, but big enough to get me to the beach sharpish. I'm on the Isle of Wight not Australia!"

Find out more about smooth hounds below, with this fact sheet from the Shark Trust.

Common Smoothhound Shark Trust Factsheet

Reporter: ross.findon@iwcp.co.uk

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