A deadly great white shark is feared to be roaming Britain’s coastline – and here the Sunday People publish pictures that could prove it.
Experienced fisherman Nigel Hodge watched in disbelief as a real-life Jaws tore apart a smaller blue shark on the end of his line.
The fearsome beast left devastating machete-like bite marks which an expert last night said could belong to the legendary man-eater.
Nigel, 43, who was fishing off the coast in Cornwall when the monster struck, said: “It was a terrifying sight. In over 30 years of fishing these waters I have never seen anything like it.”
The incident is now under investigation by experts. One, David Turner, 66, author of The Shark Fisherman, said yesterday: “There is no way this is a shark native to UK waters.” Blue Shark believed to have been attacked by a Great White
Bite marks show vicious attack
The great white – made notorious by the 1975 blockbuster movie Jaws – is the ultimate marine killing machine with its flesh-ripping razor-sharp teeth.
Although it usually eats other sea creatures, it attacks between five and 10 humans a year around the world and has killed 29 since 1990.
The beast that can measure 20ft and weigh two tons has long been feared to be prowling UK waters, which experts say mirror their key habitats off the coast of South Africa, Australia and northern California.
And Nigel’s dramatic encounter 20 miles off the coast of Falmouth last week could be the first * definite evidence. He said: “The blue shark looked like someone had taken a machete to it.
“There’s nothing round here that can do that sort of damage. I sent the *pictures to a shark expert and he *believes it could well be a great white. It’s *astonishing. I don’t want to panic people or be seen as alarmist, but whatever it is needs to be caught.”
Nigel, who runs a charter boat specialising in shark fishing, was taking a party of six people out for a day’s shark fishing last Friday *afternoon when the drama unfolded. Among them was Neal Taylor, 28, who snagged the blue shark on his line. Deadly: Great white
“He quickly realised that he’d got more than he’d bargained for as he was struggling to reel it in,” said Nigel. “He yelled out for help and I went rushing over.
“It was almost impossible to hold, as we tugged and struggled. It was really heavy and we knew we had something massive.
“As we brought it in closer we could see there were actually two sharks on the line.” One was twice as big as the other – about 10ft in length, dark grey on top with a white underbelly, just like a great white.
Nigel said: “It became clear the smaller blue shark was being attacked by the bigger shark, and then suddenly the weight disappeared from the hook.
“The large shark seemed to roll off, flashing its white underbelly, before swimming off. It was like a large *shadow under the water.
“We managed to keep the blue shark on the hook and when we got the catch into the boat we could see it had been badly bitten.”
The blue creature had several deep gashes all over its body. The party took photographs of the shark, which weighed 60lb, and then released it safely back. Scarred: Fisherman's photo of blue shark
Amazingly, Nigel says he may have first crossed paths with the *attacker shark four weeks ago in the same spot when it bit through a thick steel fishing line.
He said: “Sharks from round here just do not do that. I wondered then whether this would strike again and it did.”
Nigel‘s photos have already split opinion, with some experts believing the wounds could have been caused by a larger blue shark.
But Nigel and his wife Emma – also a keen angler with years of experience – are certain it wasn’t caused by any of the sharks that usually roam in the waters off Falmouth.
Water temperature off the UK coast in summer is ideal for great whites, ranging between 14C and 20C, while there are several seal colonies which are the shark’s favourite prey.
Great whites also use the currents of the Gulf Stream, which passes close to the British Isles, to travel huge *distances, possibly bringing some individuals into UK waters.
Nigel said: “I’ve seen enough blue sharks, makos, porbeagles and threshers to know that it wasn’t one of them that caused this. There’s no way they could have done it. Blue sharks have teeth like needles.
“The teethmarks are just too deep for any of the local fish to have done it. There’s no way this could have been caused by one of them.”
The closest capture of a great white was off La Rochelle, western France about 200 nautical miles from the UK.
Now Nigel says he can’t wait to go back and remove any doubt about the identity of the giant shark.
He added: “The only way I can know for sure what did this is to get back out there and catch it.”