The red flag was hoisted again on the beach at Ciudad Jardin near Palma yesterday morning at 10.45 after fresh shark sightings were reported by bathers. Within a matter of minutes police were combing the waters edge on the beach and a Guardia Civil launch was patrolling the water with the support of a police helicopter in the hunt for the shark and the red flag was replaced with a yellow precaution flag as the searched was carried out. One elderly bather who saw the animal could not say whether it was a shark or not, but he was in no doubt about the size of the fish he saw and had no intention of returning to the water until the security authorities had given the all clear. The police searched the area for the best part of an hour for the shark which was said to have been around one metre in length. Just three weeks ago, the same stretch of beach was closed following a shark sighting and the Mediterranean shark, which is blue while in the water but turns grey quickly when beached, which was reported moving up and down the coast off the Playa de Palma in June has yet to be caught. Yesterday's incident was the fifth this summer. When the first shark was spotted in the same area, between Can Pastilla and Ciudad Jardin, some three weeks ago a search was carried out but the beach was allowed to stay open. The Mediterranean shark is not uncommon in Balearic waters and can grow up to a maximum of two metres in length. Experts say that it is very unusual for a Mediterranean shark to attack a human being and that they will never attack anything larger than themselves. However, local biologists and shark experts are unable to rule out an attack taking place. Apparently if confused a shark could attack a human, but out of self defence as the Mediterranean sharks common to Balearic waters are not meat eaters. The last that was apparently seen of yesterday's shark was that it was spotted swimming off in the direction of Cala Gamba where security teams will be keeping a vigilant eye today.
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