TWO beaches in La Línea de la Concepción were red-flagged today (Thursday) after a shark was spotted in the sea close to the shore.
Emergency services were called out to the adjoining Santa Bárbara and Levante beaches in the Cádiz-province town, which borders directly onto Gibraltar, in the afternoon and lifeguards ordered all bathers to get out of the water.
Passengers on a yacht had seen what has since been identified as an Oxynotus Centrina, or Angular Rough Shark – a species known in Spanish as a tiburón cerdo, or 'pig shark', due to its squashed-looking nose.
Despite the beaches being closed, experts informed La Línea council that the breed of shark seen is not especially dangerous as it does not generally attack humans and tends to live on small fish.
It is not uncommon to spot sharks in the Strait of Gibraltar and the western Mediterranean, since both are on the migratory route for several species, including the Angular Rough Shark and the Blue Fin Shark.
Both of these are normally harmless to humans, although sunseekers who find themselves sharing the sea with one should head for the shore as a precaution.