A sighting of a three-metre-long blue shark caused alarm on the beaches of Fuengirola on Sunday, forcing a four-hour ban on swimming.
Several bathers warned of the presence of a shark only several metres from the shore in Torreblanca at around 12.15pm.Following the spread of several different videos on social media, the Guardia Civil sent out a patrol to find the shark, but failed to locate it.
The red flag was raised until around 5pm, when it was downgraded to yellow. According to several sources, the authorities tried to capture the shark and return it to deeper waters, but were unsuccessful in their search.
Malaga’s marine rescue service, Aula del Mar, said that the presence of blue sharks is not uncommon on the Malaga coastline. Juan Jesús Martín, biologist and director of the centre, explained that this species is the only type of shark that regularly ventures in shallow waters. “It’s not common, but it can happen,” he said.
Martín clarified that the blue shark is one of more than twenty species that live in the Alboran Sea, and although it can venture into areas with bathers, there has never been a documented encounter between the two.