Shark attack Cornwall: what happened in Penzance as blue shark bites tourist, are shark attacks common in UK?

In what was described as ‘a very scary incident’ witnesses have said they heard ‘piercing screams’

A snorkeler has been bitten on the leg by a shark off the Cornwall coast.

The woman, who has not been identified, was on a tour with Blue Shark Snorkel Trips when the attack occurred.

The victim described her ordeal as “a very scary incident” with witnesses saying they heard “piercing screams.”

According to the Sun, she may require minor plastic surgery due to her injuries.

This is the first shark attack in UK waters for 175 years, Blue Shark Snorkel are said to be investigating what happened.

Here’s everything you need to know about the shark bite in Penzance.

St Michael’s Mount, near Penzance Cornwall (Pic: Getty Images)

What happened in Penzance?

The incident occured last Thursday (28 July) off the coast of Penzance, Cornwall.

A snorkeler who had taken part in an excursion with Blue Shark Snorkel was reportedly bitten on the leg, requiring help from the HM Coastguard.

In what was described as “a very scary incident” the victim was taken to shore where an ambulance was waiting.

HM Coastguard confirmed that they believed the injury was caused by a suspected shark bite, but could not determine if it was from a blue shark.

In a statement released by the tour company after the ordeal, the victim who wished to remain anonymous thanked their team for their “kindness” and “calmness”.

She said: “What was a very scary incident was made so much easier by the kindness and calmness of the people around me.

“Thank you to the trip team for getting me back to shore quickly and carefully and making me feel as safe as I possibly could.”

Adding: “I don’t for a second want this freak event to tarnish the reputation of an already persecuted species.”

What has Blue Shark Snorkel said?

Blue Shark Snorkel, the company that organised the tour, have stressed that these incidents are “extremely rare.”

In a statement on their Facebook page, the company said: “We want to make everyone aware that we have had an incident.

“These occurrences are extremely rare and can be easily misunderstood so we want this to be dealt with as sensibly as possible.

“As we know, these things can happen when we choose to interact with wild animals in their own environment. The last thing we want is to let speculation drive the media into a world of bad press for the sharks, under no fault of their own.

“We immediately enacted our emergency response plan, with first aid being carried out on the person involved.

The type of shark involved in the incident has not yet been identified, but is suspected to be a blue shark (Pic: AFP via Getty Images)

When was the last shark attack in the UK?

The last unprovoked shark attack in British waters occured in 1847.

However, there are recorded attacks on fishermen, who have been bitten after bringing sharks onboard their boats.

Are shark attacks common in the UK?

Shark attacks in the UK are extremely rare.

According to the Shark Trust, there have been “no unprovoked shark bites in British waters since records began in 1847”.

The charity added: “Only a few sharks are potentially dangerous to humans. None of these have ever been reported in British waters.”