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Stranded shark dies on Yorkshire coast despite rescuers' efforts
24 July 2020, 14:14
A battle to save a stranded 15ft shark on the North Yorkshire coast has ended with the creature being put to sleep.
The basking shark was washed up alive on Filey beach on Thursday, attracting a large crowd of people determined to salvage it.
Lifeboat crews from the RNLI, HM Coastguard and medics from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue were called around 6pm, closing the beach.
But the animal appeared ill and the decision was made to euthanise it.
The BDMLR said: "Unfortunately, the shark appeared to be struggling as it was listing consistently over to its right-hand side and circling in the shallows, sometimes needing support from the rescuers.
"Despite attempts to move it into deeper water the shark continued to head back to the beach where it restranded and later in the evening was put to sleep by a vet due to the poor prognosis."
Filey RNLI Lifeboat said it provided safety cover to the BDMLR medics as it was high tide and a rip current was circling the area. “The crew assisted other agencies coaxing the shark out to sea. Sadly, all efforts failed,” they said.
Footage filmed by onlookers on the beach and nearby cliffs showed several rescuers in the water dwarfed by the shark’s dorsal fin.
The BDMLR said it was believed to have been male and maturing into an adult, and that oxygen deprivation may have explained its behaviour.
Basking sharks, an endangered species, are the second largest fish in the ocean after the whale shark, growing longer than 10 metres. They are not a danger to humans and feed only on plankton.
They are seen in British waters from spring through until autumn, with occasional sightings in winter, and typically swim in deeper sea.