VIDEO: Ten-foot shark sparks panic among bathers on Costa del Sol beach

Authorities in Fuengirola ordered swimmers out of the water on Sunday after a blue shark measuring around 3 meters (10ft) was spotted in the shallows off Torreblanca beach.

VIDEO:  Ten-foot shark sparks panic among bathers on Costa del Sol beach

Bathers first spotted the shark swimming a few meters from the shore around 12.15 on Sunday and alerted emergency services.

Watch a video of the encounter posted on Facebook:

Another call was received by a bather at  Los Boliches beach who spotted what could have been the same shark and a third much later at 8.30 by a caller who saw a shark off  Playamar.

The Civil Guard launched patrol boats to search for the fish while lifeguards raised the red flag to ban swimming until it was located.

By 5pm and with no sign of the shark, the yellow flag was raised signalling “enter at own risk”.

Blue sharks are one of the most common sharks in the Mediterranean but rarely appear close to shore and pose little danger to humans.

However, marine experts suspect that a shark only comes so close to shore when it is disorientated possibly after being injured or is ill.

Juan Jesús Martín of the marine conservationist organisation Aula del Mar in Malaga told Diario Sur: “It is not common to see them so close to shore but it can happen.

“They don’t pose a risk to bathers,” he said.

Although, two years ago in Elche, on Spain's eastern coast, a man was bitten on the hand by what appeared to be a blue shark.

READ ALSO: Barcelona beaches invaded by swarms of strange blue sea creatures


Teenager dies snorkelling after venomous fish encounter off Costa Brava beach

A 16-year-old was killed while snorkelling off Platja d’Aro in Catalonia after an encounter with a venomous weever fish.

Teenager dies snorkelling after venomous fish encounter off Costa Brava beach
Stock photo: District47/Flickr

The boy, who has not been publically named, suffered anaphylactic shock and died on Saturday afternoon while on a family trip to the beach.

His parents raised the alarm after he disappeared while snorkelling and he was found unconscious nearby by bathers and brought to shore.

Initial post-mortem results show the teenager had a tiny wound on his neck, above his windpipe, and scratches on his face.

His parents told local media that he had been filming marine life with a waterproof camera and that footage retrieved by investigators suggested he had been stung by a weever fish.

“He had been following a jellyfish about 100 metres offshore which led him to a strange and colourful fish with a harmless-looking face,” according to a statement from the parents quoted in La Vanguardia.

“He was only able to film it for 30 seconds from a distance and at the last second it disappeared and stung him around the jaw area.”

A post-mortem has been carried out in nearby Girona where forensic staff are awaiting toxicology results.

The fish has been identified locally as a spotted weever (rachinus araneusa) a species that carries venom in its dorsal spines and buries itself in sand on the seabed.

Photo by Roberto Pillon/creative commons/

They are usually hard to spot and have been known to deliver painful stings to swimmers feet who unknowingly step in them when paddling in shallow water.

But although they can provoke a severe allergic reaction and in rare cases provoke heart attacks such stings rarely prove fatal because those who step on them can usually reach the safety of the shore before drowning.