Boy, 11, ‘lucky to be alive’ after shark ‘brushed past his leg’ off Brit beach

A boy is "lucky to be alive" after a shark brushed his leg while he was swimming in the Bournemouth sea, according to his dad.

Alan Hayward, 48, was watching his two children, 11-year-old Henry and eight-year-old Mollie, swimming on Boscombe Beach.

Before long, Henry told Hayward he could feel something brushing against his leg – later photos led Hayward to conclude this was the shark's fin.

Hayward jokingly shouted to his children to run for their lives, but they did as they were told.

But on that same day and on the same beach, Boscombe Beach was evacuated following reports of a shark sighting in the sea.

An eyewitness recorded what they thought was the shark just metres away from the beach in Bournemouth at around 1.30pm.

On learning about the sighting, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) warned swimmers on the busy beach to get out of the sea immediately.

They put red flags up and closed the beach for over an hour.

Two lifeguards on jet-skis patrolled the water to look for the rumoured shark but didn't find anything.

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Hayward told The Sun: "We laughed at him just thinking it was a bit of seaweed and it wasn’t until we got home that we were looking through our photos and we saw that shark, or what looks like a shark in the background.

"I just thought what’s that, and then when we zoomed in we could see the dorsal fin.

"He was extremely lucky, to be honest, I think he's lucky to be alive."

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A fisherman told The Sun that the shark pulled his fishing rod out of his hands and almost dragged him into the sea. He said he's "never seen anything like it in 13 years".

One Twitter user, who witnessed the drama earlier this week, wrote: "The lifeguard put out a loudspeaker announcement saying 'everyone out of the water. There is marine wildlife in the water.' Everybody rushed out of the water and the RNLI response was very effective."

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A spokesperson at the RNLI told Dorset Live: "There were sightings of large marine life at Boscombe beach. "The situation is being closely monitored by RNLI lifeguards who are asking visitors to stay away from the water and have put up red flags."

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