Two fishermen post mobile phone video of terrifying assault on their boat on the internet
Experts probe mystery of shark attack in Scottish bay
Shark experts are excited but baffled after two anglers escaped an attack by a shark in a Highland bay.
They feared for their lives as the 10ft creature attacked their boat in Balintore Bay off Easter Ross.
Experts believe it was a porbeagle shark, sometimes mistaken for a great white.
Initially it swam past the boat, then without warning it turned and started battering its head against the craft.
The attack is believed to be the first of its kind in Scottish waters.
It lasted several minutes before the shark swam away.
Footage of the incident was captured on one of the fisherman’s mobile phones and has now been posted on the YouTube website.
Experts are studying the film to try to learn more about why the shark ventured so close to the shore and became so aggressive.
Tina Aydon, a scientist at Deep Sea World in Fife, said it was most likely hunting food — it’s diet is fish — or was a female about to pup.
She said: “It’s an amazing video. Judging by its aggressive behaviour it is a porbeagle, rather than a basking shark.
“A basking shark would not usually go back and hit the boat. They are shy and would normally take off and go straight to the bottom.
“That is why I believe it is an adult porbeagle. For one to be seen in a bay, so close to shore, is very rare.
“Although found in British waters, they are not one you see every day, especially in circumstances like this.
“The porbeagle is found right around the UK, and is quite often mistaken for a great white — the shape of the head and dorsal fin on both species is very similar.”
Porbeagles sharks are in fact related to the great white but are considerably smaller.
Mrs Aydon said: “It seems likely, if these men were fishing, that they maybe had bait in the water.
“That could have attracted a shoal of fish, which would attract the porbeagle, resulting in it striking the boat.
“Another possibility is that she was pregnant and coming in to pup.
“It was probably a frightening experience for these guys, especially as the porbeagle is very much like the white shark in appearance.
“It is the first time I have ever seen this happen.”
The presence of a porbeagle in Scottish waters, although not unknown, is unusual as they usually swim off the south-west of Britain, on the Cornish and Welsh coasts.
Porbeagle sharks are endangered and regarded vulnerable to extinction.
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