by Ryan Harrison
A PALMA beach was forced to evacuate its shoreline yesterday after a shark was spotted circling swimmers.
Can Pere Antoni beach was closed for one hour and Guardia Civil rescue boats were launched after reports of a sighting at approximately midday.
It was believed to be a blue shark, which is common in the Mediterranean and can grow up to four metres in length.
Described as an open-ocean glider, the large fish is not usually seen in coastal areas.
Yesterday the red flag at the beach, by Palma Cathedral, was raised to indicate that swimming was prohibited.
Police vehicles arrived at the scene to secure the area and a Guardia Civil launch patrolled the coastline.
Swimmers were not in immediate danger as the blue shark usually feasts on fish, small sharks and squid and does not attack humans. But it can reportedly reach speeds of up to 43 mph. The flag was eventually changed to yellow, meaning danger, and at 1.45pm the life guard declared the beach safe by raising the green flag.
Onlookers seemed concerned at the sighting, but were also confused about exactly what the different flags stood for.
Daniel, 19, from Estonia on a week's holiday in Majorca said: “I'm a little concerned that people are swimming in the water. The flag's yellow at the moment but I don't have a clue what that means. “I think someone should tell the people swimming,” he added.
Silvia, 45, a Palma resident, said: “I didn't know about the shark. Very few foreigners coming here know what the different flags mean.”


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