NewsShark scare in gran canaria: Popular beaches shut down twice

Shark scare in gran canaria: Popular beaches shut down twice

The beaches in Spain have been closed. All because of sharks.
The beaches in Spain have been closed. All because of sharks.
Images source: © Licensor
Anna Wajs-Wiejacka

17 June 2024 17:18

Over the weekend, the beach on the beloved Spanish island of Gran Canaria, popular with tourists, was closed twice. Lifeguards promptly raised red flags and hurriedly ordered people to get out of the water, all because sharks swam up to the shore.

Melenara Beach on the eastern coast of Gran Canaria, part of the Canary Islands, was closed on Saturday and Sunday. According to the Daily Mail, sharks were to blame. Authorities raised the alarm after seeing several potentially dangerous sharks in the coastal waters, including one about 3 metres long. Swimmers were instructed to leave the water immediately.

A video circulating online shows a hammerhead shark rapidly approaching the shore. In the video, you can hear the screams of beachgoers as they spot the predator's fin protruding above the water.

A young girl in the water when the shark appeared told a local TV station that "the lifeguard began to whistle and signal to everyone that they should get out of the water." “I looked around and saw its fin,” she added, visibly emotional. Her friend added that upon seeing the fin, they "wanted to get out of the water as quickly as possible."

The shark's appearance caused quite a commotion. Although not many attacks by this species on humans have been recorded, experts point out that we are still dealing with aggressive hunters whose size and ferocity make them a potential threat.

Alarm on Gran Canaria. Beaches were closed

Swimming was banned on Saturdays and Sundays at Melenara Beach. On Sunday afternoon (around 3 PM GMT), this ban was extended to the neighbouring Salinetas beach. Two hours later, lifeguards raised the red flag at a third location—San Augustin beach in the south of the island. In this case, the reason was a shark, specifically, a photo taken by one of the tourists showing the characteristic shark fin protruding from the water.

It was not immediately clear whether the same individual terrorising swimmers at Melenara Beach led to the initial beach closure. Local police confirmed that after a second, much clearer observation from a drone, it was confirmed to be a hammerhead shark. Its size was initially estimated to be just under 2 metres, although the second drone observation indicated it was smaller and just under 1 metre.

Scientists indicate that the increasing presence of sharks in the waters off the coast of Spain is due to predators searching for new feeding grounds.

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