Huge basking sharks surround river boat tourists after spate of sightings

This is the moment huge basking sharks stunned tourists by swimming up to their boat on a Cornish river in the latest of several sightings across the UK.

The creatures were caught on video in the estuary in Carrick Roads by AK Wildlife Cruises, a local agency.

Carrick Roads is the estuary of the River Fal near to Falmouth Harbour – the third deepest natural harbour in the world.

A wildlife guide at AK said the rare sight left guests on the cruise – many of whom had never seen a shark before – ecstatic.

The enormous fish can be seen gliding right up to the vessel, swimming away and returning again later with their dark fins bobbing up and down in the water.

Georgia Bardua, wildlife guide at AK, said: “We were out on a normal cruise and hadn’t seen much offshore apart from a few seals and sea birds. The sea was quite big that day.

“But as were were coming back in we spotted the top of black fins near to the entrance.

“It was unexpected for all of us but they were really excited. I don’t think any of them had seen a basking shark before. They were really happy and surprised more than anything.

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“It was really nice to end the trip on a high like that.”

She said recently they have seen a lot of cetaceans, including dolphins, porpoises and minke whales, as well as basking sharks, which are the second biggest in the world, behind whale sharks, and average about 8 metres (27ft).

AK Wildlife Cruises is encouraging boat users to be careful at the moment with the increased presence of basking sharks.

Georgia said they’re quite often hard to see in the water, which puts them in danger of propeller injuries.

It comes after a spate of basking shark sightings on coasts across the UK, and the second sighting for AK Cruises in just two weeks.

Earlier in April Georgia was out near Falmouth when a magnificent 15ft long basking shark wowed guests on the tour.

The crew were testing out the boat last week prior to opening, and took it for a spin to Portloe bay.

Georgia was astonished to spot the basking shark cruising under the water.

And on Tuesday, giant 20ft fish were captured on camera terrifying a paddle-boarder by circling him on the Cornish coast.

The marine animals – which are the second-largest living sharks – can be seen surrounding him in Porthcurno.

The creatures are usually spotted in the Scottish Hebrides fairly often, however sightings in Cornwall are much rarer.

The increase in sightings this early in the year is believed to be linked to sea temperatures rising due to global warming.

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