Man seriously injured after being bitten by shark off coast of Cork

02/09/2018 - 08:29

By Denise O’Donoghue
A Belfast man was bitten by a blue shark while angling off the coast of Cork yesterday evening.

He sustained a serious lower arm injury.

Crosshaven RNLI Volunteers were called to the scene at 6pm.

"We received a call about 6pm yesterday evening regarding an angling boat that was about 13 miles offshore," said Crosshaven RNLI spokesperson John Mathers.

They had pulled a blue shark on board, which is normal [before] they tag them and release them, but the shark, unfortunately, managed to bite the angler on the lower forearm quite badly.

The deep sea angling boat 'Deora De' steamed towards Crosshaven from about eight miles offshore and rendezvoused with the Crosshaven lifeboat about four miles south of Roches Point.

Photo: Jon Mathers/RNLI

The casualty had been given immediate first aid by the crew of the angling boat before being transferred to the lifeboat where further casualty care was given on board.

The lifeboat was met at Crosshaven by an ambulance and the casualty was transported to Cork University Hospital.

An RNLI spokesman added: “This was more of an angling accident than a shark attack, there was a bit of a struggle when pulling the shark on board.

“We’re not trying to panic anyone.”

File photo of a blue shark

Blue sharks are the most common species of shark in Irish waters. They grow to a maximum length of just under four metres.

They feed primarily on small fish and squid, although they can take larger prey. It is believed that they can live up to 20 years.

Blue sharks rarely bite humans. Until 2013, the blue shark was implicated in only 13 biting incidents, four of which ended fatally.