Swimmer bitten and left with leg injury in horror shark attack off British coast

A snorkeler is reported to have been bitten by a shark off the coast of Cornwall.

The swimmer suffered a leg injury and had to be rescued by coastguard officers near Penzance at roughly midday last Thursday.

HM Coastguard confirmed the injury was caused by a suspected shark bite, reports Cornwall Live.

A spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard sent Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team to meet a snorkeler who suffered a suspected shark bite.

“The coastguard was notified just before 12.30pm on Thursday (July 28). It is believed the swimmer suffered a leg injury.

“The coastguard team met the casualty at Penzance Harbour to assist with passing them into the care of the ambulance service.”

It is not yet known what type of shark attacked the snorkeler.

There are several kinds that visit Cornish waters each year, including blue sharks, porbeagle sharks and basking sharks.

Shark attacks are incredibly rare in Britain, however, with no unprovoked attacks said to have occurred since records began in 1847.

In 2018, 21-year-old Max Berryman was bitten on the leg by a porbeagle after hauling it on to his boat, which operates from Newlyn, Cornwall, with a fishing net.

He was rushed to hospital with deep bites “down to the muscle” and had to undergo an operation.

And in 2017, 30-year-old Rich Thomson was surfing off south Devon when he came across what he believed to be a smooth hound.

After the 3ft fish “grabbed him on the leg”, he whacked it on the head, leaving him with a bruised leg and cuts to his hands.

In 2008, fisherman Stephen Perkins had to undergo reconstructive surgery after becoming the first person to be bitten by a blue shark in the UK.

The worst shark-related fatality in British waters occurred on September 1, 1937 in the Kintyre peninsula, West Scotland.

Steamship captain Angus Brown took members of his family out for a pleasure trip on Eagle, a 15ft planked dinghy.

Basking sharks – a large toothless fish that would normally present no danger to man – could be seen all around the bay.

It’s thought the one of the creatures, which can grow up to 26ft (8m) in length – collided with the boat, capsizing it.

In the confusion Captain Brown, his 10-year-old son and another unnamed family friend all drowned.