Basking shark spotted off Eastbourne coast

The basking shark, photo by Curtis Tite
The basking shark, photo by Curtis Tite

A fisherman had quite a shock when he spotted a 25-foot basking shark off the Eastbourne coast.

Curtis Tite was just a few miles at sea when he saw an enormous dorsal fin and the world’s second largest shark emerged.

Local angler Curtis was shocked to see the 25-foot shark SUS-180905-101359001

Local angler Curtis was shocked to see the 25-foot shark SUS-180905-101359001

He said, “It was absolutely huge. It was amazing. It was very close, it went right under my boat.

“It dived right underneath and you could see its dorsal fin – it was massive.”

Curtis, who is a member of Eastbourne Angling Club, was out commercial fishing boat at around 12.30pm yesterday (Tuesday).

He said, “We see porpoises all the time but you never see that.

“I have been fishing for 10-15 years, I have never seen that.”

The dad described the moment he saw the enormous fish, “In the distance I saw this huge dorsal fin and though ‘what?’”

He said the crew decided to follow it and saw its distinct white marks which identified it as a basking shark.

The boat he was in was 15ft and Curtis said the shark was much longer,

He said, “I could see it swimming around, it was crazy to see and watch.”

“It’s not something you’ll see again.”

Basking sharks are harmless to humans and only eat very small fish such as plankton – which they catch with their very wide mouths.

Slow moving, the adults can reach up to 30ft in length and migrate extremely long distances to find food.