Belfast man suffers serious lower arm injury during angling incident near Cork

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A man has been bitten by a blue shark while fishing off the coast of Cork.

The man from Belfast sustained a serious lower arm injury while deep-sea angling on Saturday evening just off the Irish coast. He was given immediate first aid by the crew of the angling boat, before being transferred to a lifeboat where he received further care.

Crosshaven RNLI volunteers were called to the scene at 6pm. An RNLI spokesman said: “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 the lifeboat about four miles south of Roches Point.

An ambulance took the man from Crosshaven 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 about 20 years.

Until 2013, the species was implicated in only 13 biting incidents with humans, four of which ended in deaths.

The RNLI spokesman said the men onboard the fishing vessel did everything correctly. “This is the first incident of a shark bite that we’ve had to deal with, although the blue sharks are common,” he said.

“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 dehook the shark.

“The injury is absolutely not life-changing and it was a repairable flesh wound. The guys onboard did everything right, it was a small nip while fishing. He was successful in catching the shark, just unlucky in dehooking.

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

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