Shark sighting: Cousin of GREAT WHITE caught by angler off UK shore

Porbeagles are a cousin of the Great White and are one of the most common types of shark spotted in UK waters.

Mr Watson, along with Andy Watson and Matt Ward, have been shark fishing for around three years, largely off the coast of Cornwall.

But this year they decided to invest in a boat to search the North Sea where the water is slightly colder and the sharks feel more at home.

The group came across the mammoth shark 15 miles out at sea and couldn’t believe their luck.

But reeling the shark in was no easy task and the anglers were locked in a tense contest described by Mr Watson as “very difficult” before releasing it back into the wild.

He said: “It was incredible. They come up to the surface and swim round the boat, it’s amazing to watch.

“They are very delicate when they take the bait but after about 30 seconds we decided to tighten the line. It took about 40 minutes to land.

“They look very, very much like a great white, the only way to tell the difference is by their fins – they are very, very similar.”

The group have previously caught sharks believed to be around 500lb (35 stone) and say they estimate this shark to be 250lb (17 stone).

Despite their scary appearance, porbeagle sharks are not thought to be harmful to humans.

They are normally found at least 10 miles out to sea and are generally thought to be shy creatures.

However, the catch comes just days after a British fisherman was bitten by the same species of shark off the Cornish coast.

Footage emerged of Max Berryman, 21, who was airlifted to hospital after the shark went for him 110miles west of the Isles of Scilly on Sunday.

Mr Watson and his two friends, from Wakefield and Dewsbury, have bought a boat called ‘Isobel’ which is currently based in Whitby harbour.

They plan to spend the summer exploring the North Sea for any more sightings of sharks.

Mr Watson added: “Talking to local charter boat skippers, we think this could be the first shark caught off Whitby this year.

“Using special hooks which we get from USA, we were able to easily unhook the fish in the water, enabling it to swim off safely.”

The catch follows a story in June last year when another group caught a porbeagle off the coast of Whitby.

Rich Cope, 38, who runs the Whitby-based boat charters, Mistress Sea Angling, said at the time: “It was like trying to control a car on a fishing rod!

“We were about 20 miles off the Whitby coast. We see them in the summer some seasons, but we don’t see many.”

“This last month there have been a couple of sightings in that area. We had only been fishing about 15 minutes when we got it on.

“We knew it was a shark, it was very exciting. I don’t suppose many people have a job like mine, I love fishing and get a lot of excitement.”

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