Dramatic moment stunned family spots shark ‘feeding’ just metres away from UK harbour

A family was left stunned after spotting a shark “feeding” just metres away from a harbour in Scotland.

The creature – believed to be a basking shark – was seen cruising the entrance of Portpatrick Harbour, Dumfries and Galloway, around a fortnight ago.

Footage shows a dark tail fin lurking above the water, as well as a snout with a pronounced white mark.

Steve Stringer, who works as a skipper, started filming the giant fish – which was roughly 20 yards (18m) from land.

He told the Mirror: “We do regularly see basking sharks here, but not so many over the last couple of years.

“We had a family on for a sightseeing tour so they got a special look. One of my friends was able to see it as well.

“There were two at the same time, but only one can be seen in the video.”

Writing on social media after the sighting on August 21, Steve said the creature was “feeding away happily”.

He added: “Basking sharks sit with their mouth open and filter the plankton through.

“It’s not something we see all the time although they are around here quite a lot, so for a family to be able to come out and see them is quite nice.”

Basking sharks are often seen in UK waters during warmer weather and are not of any danger to people, although keeping them at a distance is advised.

Steve said: “They can grow 10m to 11m long. They are docile but could cause a lot of damage to people who get too close.

“If one of them were to hit a paddle with their tail then it could cause some injuries.

“There’s a code of practice where we don’t approach a creature and we set up to stop ahead of it. If it wants to swim up to us it can.

“We had no choice with the one at the harbour as it stopped in front of us.”

The fisherman has spotted a range of sea creatures while giving sightseeing tours over the past nine years.

He said: “We’ve seen common stingrays too, as well as orcas and porpoises.

“This last week we’ve seen a substantial pod of dolphins, around 200 dolphins were feeding at once at one point.

“In 2017 we had around 40 orcas jumping and playing around the boat for an hour and a half.

“The last three or four years we haven’t seen any. Sometimes it’s just luck of the draw.”

The sighting comes after another basking shark was believed to have been spotted off the Kent coast last month.

Two boys who saw the creature hollered “is that a shark?” before running down the beach at Warren near Folkestone.

Red flags had been put up at Sunny Sands and the Warren, due to the suspected basking shark sighting.

Folkestone Rescue said: “As a precaution, we are advising that people do not swim at these locations for 24 hours.

“Basking sharks are very large fish which feed off plankton, and are not considered dangerous to people or animals.

“Basking sharks have occasionally been seen off the Kent coast over the past few years.

“While the risks are usually low, you should still keep your distance from any marine animals you may see while at the coast, including basking sharks, which are an endangered species.”

Earlier in August, it was reported that another shark was spotted off the UK coast.

The blue shark was seen lurking in ankle-deep water at a popular beach near Falmouth, Cornwall.

Experts urged people to stay away, saying the sighting is a “real worry” with the species not usually venturing so close to the shore.

Dan Jarvis, of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity, advised people to ignore the sea creature and give it a wide berth.