WATCH: Basking shark spotted in North Sea

A graceful basking shark has been spotted in the North Sea.

Fishermen captured the creature on camera as it swam close to shore.

A basking shark. Picture: JP Trenque

A basking shark. Picture: JP Trenque

Reaching lengths of up to 12m, basking sharks are the largest fish in British waters, and the second largest in the world after the whale shark.

This particular specimen was caught on camera down the coast near North Landing in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

Keep your eyes out for it appearing in our waters.

Richard Emmerson, 55, was commercial fishing yesterday with two crewmen when they spotted the shark.

Richard, who runs North Landing Boat Tours and Fishing Trips, said: “I’ve been going out to sea for 38 years and I had never seen one before, never mind getting that close to one. It was a great experience to see something so rare only inches away.

“My colleague got his camera out and recorded us going past the first time which we’re glad we could share. We tried turning back for a second viewing but as we approached we must have spooked it and it went into the deeper seas.”

Tom Marshall, from the Yorkshire Nature Triangle, said: “There have only been a handful of sightings of basking sharks in the North Sea over recent years and it really is special to see one so close to the Yorkshire coast.”

“Whilst it’s certainly a rare treat to see a basking shark in our waters, hundreds of people have been delighted by close up encounters with minke and other whales during wildlife watching boat trips from Whitby over the last month or so. Coupled with the rare and unusual birds that land on our shores during the autumn migration, this sighting of a basking shark just bolsters the reputation of the Yorkshire coastline as a great place to see wildlife not just in Yorkshire, but the UK as a whole.”