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‘Large shark’ circling just yards from swimmers forces evacuation of UK beach

A large shark sighting caused a busy UK beach to be evacuated just like a scene from the classic movie Jaws.

Swimmers and paddlers were ordered to hurry onto dry land at Boscombe beach, in Bournemouth, Dorset, on Wednesday.

Announcing the potential danger over speakers, RNLI lifeguards told beachgoers that "large marine wildlife" had been spotted in the water.

Red flags were also put up to warn swimmers of a serious hazard in the water while the beach was shut off for almost an hour.

Lifeguards took to the sea aboard jet-skis in search of the reported shark whose dorsal fin they expected to find cutting through the water's surface.

It is not known what species of shark was reported to have been spotted in the shallow water but it wasn't seen again, The Mirror reports.

Witness Gemma Harris said: "The lifeguard put out a loudspeaker announcement saying 'everyone out of the water. There is marine wildlife in the water.'

"Everybody rushed out of the water and the RNLI response was very effective.

"They checked the water for about half-an-hour before letting bathers back in.

"Apparently a fin was spotted. We heard one of the RNLI team say it was a shark but nothing has been confirmed."

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A spokesman for the RNLI said: "There were sightings of large marine life at Boscombe beach.

"The situation is being closely monitored by RNLI lifeguards who are asking visitors to stay away from the water and have put up red flags."

It comes after experts warned great white sharks could soon be on their way to the British coast as the waters warm up due to climate change.

The huge predators currently prowl the seas around British holiday hotspots in the Canaries and the Balerics, but they could soon be arriving closer to home.

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A team of scientists on a Discovery Channel-backed expedition this summer are seeking to probe just how many of the predators there are in the Mediterranean Sea.

And experts say there have been at least 10 credible reports of the fearsome breed being spotted in the seas around the UK.

Cornwall has been suggested as a potential future hotspot for the sea creatures.

Dr Bob Hueter, chief scientist at the sea research organisation OCEARCH, told The Sun: "It is very possible that white sharks already occasionally venture to the British Isles but are not observed or documented."

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