Shocked beachgoers managed to film the moment two giant sharks swam past them just feet away from the shore.
The amazing encounter took place at Keem Bay in Achill Island, Ireland, where a group of swimmers was taken by surprise after two large fins popped up right next to them.
“We had just arrived, and we were getting out of the car. We saw a rush of people towards the shoreline, and that’s when we saw the basking shark out there – although we didn’t know it was a basking shark at the time,” beachgoer Fergal O’Shea recalled in an interview with Lunchtime Live.
“There were a few people in their kayaks out on the water, following them at a distance.”
As it happens, the two magnificent beasts were basking sharks. While they are known as the second-biggest fish following whale sharks, they normally don’t present any danger to humans and are considered passive animals.
Basking sharks can reach up to 32 feet in length and the two fellas seen in Keem Bay were definitely not too small either.
“They’re quite big – definitely four-six meters. I don’t think people were necessarily scared of it – it was more of a fascination, really,” O’Shea added.
According to the beachgoer, several dozen beach visitors gathered to watch the animals swim around. After the sharks left and the confusion surrounding the animals’ species cleared up, some people were happy to go back into the water and soak their feet.
“I know they’re meant to be pretty harmless, but you’d definitely be a bit intimidated – I wouldn’t be going swimming with them, anyway!” O’Shea says.
“I was straight out with the Instagram of course – that’s all you can do in that situation!”
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