A fisherman broke the UK record when he caught a 7ft porbeagle shark after wrestling with the creature for nearly an hour.
Simon Davidson, 39, landed the shark off the Devon coast, smashing the previous record of 509lbs after the extraordinary shark was weighed.
The porbeagle shark’s distinctive shape and colour pattern mark it out as a smaller relative of the Great White, but swimmers will be relieved to know that it is not believed to be any threat to humans.
This specimen clocked in at a potential 550lbs, needing to be held still as it was measured before being released back into the ocean, the Mirror reports.
Simon, who is from Northamptonshire and works as a plumber, said: “My bait got taken and I didn’t think it was a big fish because it hadn’t started to fight yet.
“Then I reeled it into the side of the boat and it was a real monster.
“Suddenly it took off through the water and pulled around 600 metres of my line and it was a brutal battle to pull it back in.
“It was an hour of agony. You get to the point where your legs and arms are shaking and you just think your body is going to give up.
“When you saw it in the water, you’d think it was a Great White. It’s terrifying to think that sharks as huge as that are prowling our waters.”
Simon was a fresh-water angler before moving into big game fishing.
The official record for the biggest porbeagle shark caught in the UK currently stands at 507lbs.
The shark was caught in 1993 by Scots fisherman Chris Bennett off the Orkney Isles.
In order for a record to be counted by the British Records Fish Committee, the shark has to be killed and weighed on land.
The porbeagle is one of the larger predatory sharks native to UK waters, with other predatory species such as short-fin mako sharks also visiting seasonally.
Porbeagles tend not to venture close to the shore, preferring to hunt in deeper water.
The largest shark species native to UK waters is the Basking Shark, which luckily for swimmers feeds off plankton, though it can still be dangerous if you get too close due to its huge size and power.
Despite several unconfirmed sightings, a Great White Shark has yet to be confirmed off the UK coast, though with the shared distinctive shape and colour pattern it’s not impossible that some sightings could have been large porbeagles.
To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.