An enormous shark startled tourists in the south of France after the beast washed up in shallow waters.
The massive two-metre predator shocked fisherman who unsuccessfully attempted to move the animal back to the ocean.
The director of the Aire Marine who was called to the area upon its discovery claimed they had never seen this species of ‘Mako’ shark in the Mediterranean before, and believed the creature to be possibly unwell and certainly an anomaly.
Although the shark was trapped in just 30cm of water, its presence saw tourists and civilians warned to keep their distance.
Renaud Dupuy de la Grandrive, the director of the Côte Agathoise Marine protected Area who was immediately called to the beach, told MidiLibre: “It didn’t have any fishing marks or propeller strikes. It could be more of an illness, which is why you should avoid touching animals in this kind of situation.”
Several civilians had attempted to move the creature from the public beach, including Phillipe, a local fisherman who described the frantic experience: “I got into the water and grabbed it by the tail to try and send it back out to sea, five or six times,” recalls Phillipe.
“It’s strange to see a shark of this size on the beach where we go swimming every day.”
But he insisted he was “not scared and I went straight away to try and save it”.
Phillipe admits he was “wary because it has impressive teeth” and “was careful because a defensive reflex can happen very quickly” – particularly when dealing with a Mako Shark, one of the fastest breeds in the world.
Phillipe also said he and his friends would follow the shark out 100m back into the sea, but “each time it unfortunately came back to the shore”.
The endangered species has been made scarce due to recreational and professional fishing for its meat, and is now classified as threatened by extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
By the time technicians from the Côte Agathoise Marine Protected area arrived, the shark had died on the sand.
“It made my heart ache, I really tried to save it,” concludes Philippe.