Holidaymakers panic after spotting ‘shark fin’ just off popular UK beach

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A SHARK appears to have been spotted off a popular UK beach, prompting panic among holiday-makers.

The large, menacing “Jaws“-like fin was glimpsed in the sea just off the Norfolk coast, close to where plenty of locals and tourists bathe.

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The apparent shark fin was spotted in waters close to the Norfolk coastCredit: Matt Huw

And experts have now suggested it was “most likely” a basking shark.

The species can grow up to 29ft long and are most often only seen in Cornwall or Scotland when approaching as close as Britain.

The telltale fin was spotted by Matt Huw as he walked along Caister-on-Sea beach, almost four miles north along the coast from Great Yarmouth.

He told the Eastern Daily Press: “I spoke to a local fisherman who initially thought it may be a porbeagle, a thresher or a basking shark.

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“I’m down at the beach most days and I often spot seals, but this definitely wasn’t a seal.”

Jack Renwick, a conservation officer at the Shark Trust charity based in Plymouth in Devon, has now said: “This is most likely to be a basking shark – although it is hard to confirm from video.”

The news prompted online comments and images comparing the scenes to Steven Spielberg‘s 1975 blockbuster shark movie, with one saying: “I can hear the Jaws theme from here.”

Another posted, “And now for a quick word from the Mayor of Caister” – along with a photo from the film of actor Murray Hamilton as the mayor of Amity in Long Island, USA, who insisted local beaches should remain open.

And a Facebook commenter, responding to a BBC Radio Norfolk clip of the sighting, warned: “Looks like a shark – do not go into the water.”

Yet others speculated on whether the apparent shark fin could be actually instead be a seal poking its head out of the water.

The latest sighting comes after a fin was seen by beachgoers last month near Cromer, also in Norfolk, nearly 30 miles north of Caister.

This is not the first time a shark has been spotted close to the Caister coast, after a mum spotted a huge fin just 100m from shore while enjoying a beach stroll with her two daughters and pet dogs.

Meanwhile, a massive shark weighing more than 61lb has been spotted off the Devon coast.

The largest landed to date was 80lb, landed off the coast of the Pembrokeshire coastline in Wales.

A fin was also photographed last month off the coast of Gwynedd in Wales, following similar sightings last year by swimmers in Folkestone in Kent and also in Torquay in Devon.

Experts last month warned potentially-dangerous great white sharks could soon appear in UK waters including at popular tourist destination Cornwall.

A “great white shark” is previously thought to have been spotted lurking off a stretch of UK coast in February last year, though they are said to predominantly favour warmer waters.

An experienced shark fisherman said the creature seen near the beach at Goring-by-Sea in West Sussex was “obviously a shark” and could be a “small, immature great white” searching for food.

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More than 40 different species of shark are thought pass through UK waters, but only 21 of these can be found all year round.

Along with basking sharks, among the most common are porbeagles – while blue sharks are also known to migrate here from the Caribbean.

The dramatic scene was filmed close to Caister-on-Sea

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The dramatic scene was filmed close to Caister-on-SeaCredit: Matt Huw

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