‘Shark attack’ scare off Poniente beach, Benidorm

BRITISH newspapers have sensationalised what appears to have been a fairly traumatic encounter between a child and an unidentified fish into a major shark attack off the coast of Benidorm. No doubt it was quite a frightening event for the boy, but some investigation shows that it isn’t on the same level as ‘Jaws’.

Benidorm’s Poniente beach was closed for 45 minutes after a 10-year-boy was apparently bitten by a fish.

He was swimming off one of the platforms in front of the Parque de Elche when he saw the fish, which was grey-green and about 50 centimetres long. 

“He tried to touch it but it whipped round and bit his waist,” said Public Safety and Beaches Councillor Lorenzo Martinez afterwards.  

Fortunately the bite – which left a large circle of teeth-marks – turned out to be a superficial graze, and was attended to at the beach’s First Aid post. The red warning flag was removed from the flagpole three-quarters of an hour later and swimmers returned – cautiously at first – to the water.

A 30-year-old woman swimming in roughly the same spot eight metres off the Poniente beach in August 2014 was less lucky. She needed medical treatment after being bitten on the leg by an unseen and unidentified fish.

From the boy’s description, the fish was probably a barracuda, according to municipal sources. A photograph of his wound has been sent to the Institute of Maritime Ecology in Valencia to assist in identifying the attacker.

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