Belfast man bitten by shark while angling

A Belfast man was bitten by a blue shark while fishing off the coast of Cork on Saturday evening.

The man sustained a lower arm injury while deep-sea angling. The man was given immediate first aid by the crew of the angling boat he was on, before being transferred to the lifeboat where further casualty care was given on board.

The team from Crosshaven RNLI responded to the emergency call

The team from Crosshaven RNLI responded to the emergency call

Crosshaven RNLI volunteers were called to the scene at 6pm.

A RNLI spokesman added: “This was more of an angling accident than a shark attack, there was a bit of a struggle when pulling the shark on board.

“We’re not trying to panic anyone.”

The boat Deora De sailed towards Crosshaven from about eight miles offshore and met with the Crosshaven lifeboat about four miles south of Roches Point.

The blue shark (Prionace glauca). Picture by Mark Conlin/ U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The blue shark (Prionace glauca). Picture by Mark Conlin/ U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The lifeboat was met at Crosshaven by an ambulance and the man was transported to Cork University Hospital.

Although blue sharks are the most common species of shark in Irish waters, they rarely bite humans. They usually feed on small fish and squid, and can live for around 20 years. Until 2013, the blue shark was implicated in only 13 biting incidents with humans, four of which ended fatally.

Crosshaven RNLI added: “We wish the patient well.”

The spokesman added that the men aboard the fishing vessel did everything correctly.

He said: “This is the first incident of a shark bite that we’ve had to deal with, although the blue sharks are common.

“I’d like everyone to keep in mind that the shark was nowhere near angling or swimming water levels.

“The men involved were fishing for sharks when the bite happened as he was trying to de-hook the shark.

“The injury is absolutely not life changing and it was a repairable flesh wound.

“The guys on board did everything right, it was a small nip while fishing.

“He was successful in catching the shark, just unlucky in de-hooking.

“The first aid second he received from the men on his boat was second to none.

“I’m completely confident he would be back on his way back to Belfast with no issues.”