Alex Brace was in the sea with a friend on Wednesday night for a swim near the tourist hotspot in Pembrokeshire. Tenby Sailing Club member Alex explained that it was 8pm when they returned to moor the boat off the town’s North Beach. It was then that they both noticed something quite large in the very shallow water.

Speaking to WalesOnline, Alex said it was too big to be a catfish and it certainly didn’t look like a dolphin. The couple quickly realized that it was – a shark.

“We’d just got back and were up to our ankles in water when we noticed it,” said Alex, who lives in Tenby and runs a mechanic there.

“My friend was standing behind me and we just saw these fins in the water and after a couple of seconds we knew it was a shark.

“He was with us for a good two or three minutes and then he started heading towards Saundersfoot. The distance between its fins must have been about five to six feet long, so it must have been about 12 feet long. I I spoke to a few people and showed them the video and they said it was most likely a large shark based on the way it was moving.’

Known as the ‘gentle giant’ of the sea, the basking shark is actually the largest shark in UK seas, with adults typically measuring between 25 and 29 feet (seven to eight metres) in length. It is the second largest shark in the world after whales.

They do not attack humans, but eat aquatic microorganisms called zooplankton. According to the Natural History Museum, they can be found in British waters between May and October, and in winter they migrate as far as South Africa.

Although they can be seen in parts of southern England, the west coast of Scotland and Wales, sightings like the one in Tenby remain quite rare.

“It’s the first one I’ve seen,” said Alex, who is a regular on the waters around Tenby.

“We see porpoises and seals, but usually no sharks. I talked to some other people who boat here and they said they rarely see one. It was probably no more than waist deep in water. It was really incredible.”


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