Fisherman narrowly misses jaws of ‘shark’ that sparked UK beach evacuation

Darron Tapper, 54, described the moment he narrowly missed the grips of a what he thinks was the shark that sparked the evacuation of Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, on Wednesday

A kayak fisherman has spoken of the moment he narrowly missed the “clutches” of what he believes was the shark that caused a UK beach to be evacuated on Wednesday.

Darron Tapper, 54, said the monster fish pulled his fishing rod out of his hands and almost dragged him in with it when it went for his lure on the end of his line.

“If you saw how it took my rod and reel I didn’t stand a chance (if the kayak had gone over). God knows what would have happened, I looked like a seal in my wetsuit,” he said.

“In 13 years I have never ever experienced that, it is a bit of a thrill to think I escaped the clutches.”

There were scenes of panic at Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, on Wednesday afternoon as beachgoers were told to stay out of the water after multiple sightings of a suspected shark.

In scenes straight out of the movie Jaws, bathers were told to get out of the water after reports of the shark being seen just yards away from the shore.

Darron described how he was fishing when he saw a large shadow under the surface, and while he was unable to properly identify the creature, he believes it may have been the same shark due to the sheer power of its bite.

By that time they had received two other reports from bathers of what was suspected to be a shark in the water off the busy beach.

The sightings prompted an RNLI lifeguard to use a megaphone to tell everybody to get out of the water.

They also put up red flags on the beach – the RNLI’s signal to warn swimmers of a serious hazard in the water.

Two lifeguards on jet-skis patrolled the water to search for the “large marine life” but found nothing untoward.

Darren, from Bournemouth, said he believes he had a lucky escape.

He said: “I was pulling a lure back into shore and something grabbed that, I almost turned over in my kayak.

“I spun around and saw a big shadow.”

The experienced fisherman said he was sure it was not a fish he would expect to catch in the area.

He said: “I know what fish are, it was something big.

“As a fisherman I’ve never heard of a shark in these waters so that was the last thing on my mind.”

Speaking of how the suspected shark grabbed his rod, he said: “It is very possible (it was a shark) I’m speculating that, I don’t know what else would have the power.”

A spokesman for the RNLI said: “On Wednesday 4 August, RNLI lifeguards received reports of a large marine animal in the sea near Boscombe Beach, Dorset.

“As a precautionary measure, lifeguards asked beach visitors to evacuate the water and put up red flags.

“Lifeguards used their Rescue Watercraft (RWC) to scan the area and visitors were able to go back into the water half an hour later.”