THE possible presence of a shark in the sea off Torremolinos has sparked alarm among swimmers.
Witnesses claimed to have seen a shark lurking in waters of the tourist town’s Playamar beach yesterday.
All bathers in the area were quick to exit the water as the rumours spread that there was a beast prowling the waters.
It’s believed that the sighting could be a blue shark that has been swimming close to the shore for several days, chasing a school of sardines.
Some more sceptical witnesses claimed that it was only a black bag that had triggered the alarm.
According to Francisco Pinto, a shark specialist from Aula del Mar in Malaga, a male blue shark measuring 1.7 metres has been lurking in waters off the Malaga coast for several days.
Like other large predators it’s most likely trailing a large shoal of sardines.
The shark was first sighted off the shores off Malapesquera beach in Benalmadena last week where it became stranded.
On this occasion, following telephone instructions from the shark specialist, several bathers and a lifeguard, were able to return the shark to the sea using a ‘tonic immobility’ technique.
Tonic immobility is a natural state of paralysis some animals enter when placed belly upwards and can be induced causing no apparent stress to the animal.
On achieving this trance state, the bathers and lifeguard were able to take the shark back into the water.
Several hours later the animal became stranded once more, this time on a beach in El Palo.
This possible sighting in Torremolinos would make it the third in 10 days.
Local fishermen have recently reported the presence of whales just 400 meters from the shore.
The lack of movement and noise pollution from boats and jet skis in the area due to lockdown has led to animals swimming closer to the shore.
Just last month a huge eight-metre shark was spotted by the Guardia Civil just 400 metres from the Mamola coastline.