UK woman rescues shark
Bridport: Woman rolls stranded 5ft shark down beach and into seaBy James Tourgout, Bridport News,
28. December 2011
BRAVE Jeanette Longley took the plunge when she saw a stranded shark on the beach at West Bay.
She became soaked as she wrestled with the creature to drag it back into the sea after it was swept ashore near the seafront chalets.
The 56-year-old rolled the 5ft fish down the shingle and was buffeted by waves as she made several attempts to pull it back out to safety.
Jeannette, of East Street, Bridport, said: “I didn’t really think about it. It had to be done.
“It was very powerful and I kept losing my footing and was knocked over by the waves a couple of times.”
She added: “The sea was quite rough. I managed to get the shark out but it came back in a couple of times. I got it out further and eventually it got out and didn’t come back in.”
Jeanette was walking her dog ‘Frankie Lampard’ with her friend Natasha Butcher, 19, when they saw people stood on the beach.
She said that there were people stood around the shark watching but she leapt into action when she realised it was alive.
Animal lover Jeanette said she didn’t think of the danger at the time. “I have saved hedgehogs and things like that but nothing like a shark. I didn’t think how dangerous it was. I am quite a good swimmer.”
She added: “We saw its fin and that it had made it out. I am just elated that it is alive.” Some bystanders also attempted to help although Jeanette became drenched by going into the water.
Natasha, who captured Jeanette’s rescue act on her phone, said: “It was just something Jeanette would do. She just gets stuck in.”
She added: “It is only afterwards that you think how dangerous it is.”
Jeanette and Natasha are not sure what type of shark it was.
Coastguards said they understood why Jeannette tried to save the shark but warned people against taking risks.
A spokesman urged people to call them in such situations as officers are specially trained and have such equipment as dry suits, life jackets and lines.
“We advise people to leave well alone. Call the coastguards instead. Chesil and West Bay can be dangerous with the shingle and undertow.”
A spokesman for the SeaLife Centre in Weymouth said it was unsure what type of fish it was.