Goring-by-Sea: 'Great White' shark spotted on West Sussex beach leaving locals scared to go in the water

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A ‘Great White’ shark has been spotted on a West Sussex beach, leaving the locals scared to go in the water

A mum has given locals a scare after claiming to have sighted a ‘Great White’ shark while walking her dog on a popular beach. Emily, 42, and her husband Dan Rushton were strolling along Goring-by-Sea beach in West Sussex on April 24 when they spotted a distinctive ‘fin’ moving in the water.

Upon closer inspection through filming, she and her 41-year-old husband concluded it was undoubtedly a shark, judging by its body shape underneath.

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Emily, from Worthing, West Sussex, said: "We're on the beach every day with our dog walking him. We usually don't spot anything but we were looking out and it's completely unusual to see something so we were like 'what is that?'.

"At first it just looked like something black and something triangular in the water. That's what made it stand out really. We could see it moving and said 'that looks like a fin'.

A ‘Great White’ shark has been spotted on West Sussex beach, leaving the locals scared (Emily and Dan Rushton/Kennedy News)A ‘Great White’ shark has been spotted on West Sussex beach, leaving the locals scared (Emily and Dan Rushton/Kennedy News)
A ‘Great White’ shark has been spotted on West Sussex beach, leaving the locals scared (Emily and Dan Rushton/Kennedy News) | Kennedy News

"It wasn't that rough so in the blue water you could see it quite clearly there was something different there. We got our phones out to zoom in. It wasn't very far off though. It was before the buoys.

"As we kept looking, it would go under the water then come back up again and move along. When it would swim along for a bit we could see it was definitely triangular in shape. We thought 'oh my goodness', that is definitely a fin.

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"As it got slightly towards the shallower parts, where it was a bit clearer, you could see a body shape underneath it. It was a lot clearer just looking at it yourself than in the video but with the phones we could see and were like 'yeah, that's definitely a shark'. We were proper excited because we're on the beach every day and we never see anything."

Emily, 42, her husband Dan, 41, with their son, Hugo, four and their dog (Kennedy News)Emily, 42, her husband Dan, 41, with their son, Hugo, four and their dog (Kennedy News)
Emily, 42, her husband Dan, 41, with their son, Hugo, four and their dog (Kennedy News) | Kennedy News

Two years ago, a similar looking fin was spotted in the same waters and a shark expert named Graeme Pullen claimed at the time it likely belonged to a Great White. The 'experienced shark fisherman' believed the shark could be 'living permanently' in the protected area along the West Sussex coastline as commercial shipping is banned there - possibly explaining Emily's sighting.

After posting about it online, the mum-of-one says she was contacted by the man who made the 2022 sighting, who told her he believes it was the same shark he spotted.

In 2022, Mr Pullen stated that the first sighting of a fin was 'an undisputed shark', which could even have been an 'immature Great White'. Two years later, Emily claims the 'shark' she saw occasionally dipped into the 'shallower' waters, which Graeme originally believed could be to 'feed on seals and bass'.

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Emily said: "It's so abnormal. I'm here everyday and I've lived in Goring for most of my life and I've never seen anything. It's a really busy coastline, we have loads of kite surfers and paddle boarders and dog waters and sea swimmers but there was nothing else there that day.

"Around Goring Gap it went under for a little bit and I think that's because there were two jet skis. It clearly went under when it heard the jet skis. We get the paddle boards out there every summer and we usually go quite far but we've never seen anything like it. We did say we're not getting the paddle boards out whilst it's there.

"Other people tell us about a seal that's on the coast and the fishermen see dolphins but we're there every day, rain or shine, and never usually see anything. Our son wasn't remotely scared, he was just excited. It's so amazing, you're really lucky to be able to see the natural wildlife where it's meant to be and it doesn't happen very often."

However not everyone was so happy to see the shape lurking in the waves and said that they would 'never' go paddleboarding again while others said they wouldn't be able to swim there anymore. Some even speculated that the 'black, triangular shape' could be a seal's nose, while others said it had put them off getting in the water.

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One said: "I saw something a while ago, thought it was a seal. But that's definitely a shark!" Another added: "That's definitely a fin to me. I'd say SHARK." A third commented: "I wouldn't be going for a swim to find out in any case!" And another said: "Well that's me never getting my paddleboard out again! Thanks."

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