Panicked bathers ran out of the sea after a blue shark came close to the shore in a popular Majorcan holiday resort. The eight-foot fish with the tell-tale fin was spotted near swimmers in Illetas close to Magaluf at midday yesterday and off Cala Major, a ten minute drive from Palma, at 9am this morning. The first sighting came and went within five minutes, sparking pandemonium among those who had seen it as well as those who hadn t but were caught up in the drama caused by bathers racing out of the water.
Extraordinary photos taken by stunned onlookers show the shark swimming towards a group of people including children on lilos. The new scare happened this morning as lifeguards ordered people out of the water, before hoisting up the red flag and alerting police.
The shark sparked pandemonium in the sea (Photo: SOLARPIX.COM)
Today Civil Guard were alerted and Civil Protection workers monitored the area for several hours afterwards to make sure the shark, known as a tintorera in Spanish, did not reappear. The fish is thought to have neared the shore after becoming disorientated and vanished after swimming back out to sea.
A blue shark was blamed for an attack on a swimmer off a popular Ibiza holiday beach last month which left him needed emergency hospital treatment. The Spanish pensioner was treated for a two-inch gash to his hand just over a week ago after being bitten off the beach at Playa d en Bossa, home to famous clubs like Ushaia and one of the most popular destinations on Ibiza for British and Irish tourists.
Terrified holiday makers were forced to flee the sea (Photo: SOLARPIX.COM) A local council spokesman said the shark was believed to be the same one that had terrified bathers in Illetas (Photo: SOLARPIX.COM)
Several people are said to have left the water after the incident, although the beach was not closed to swimmers. First aiders launched a search for the fish but abandoned their hunt after about an hour when they failed to find any sign of it.
Blue shark are one of the most common species of sharks in the Mediterranean. The same type of shark was blamed for an attack on a holidaymaker in Elche near Alicante last July. The 40-year-old victim was rushed to hospital and given stitches to a wound in his hand.
A boat went looking for the shark but eventually had to abandon its mission (Photo: SOLARPIX.COM)
First aiders described the bite as large and said he had come out of the sea with blood streaming from the injury. The drama happened at Elche s Arenales del Sol beach. The red flag was kept in place for around two hours when bathers were allowed back in the water.
Tourists were ordered out of the water last August in the Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola after bathers said they had spotted a shark. Lifeguards on jet skis helped kids on dinghies and from an inflatable water park near where the shark was spotted to safety as colleagues ran along the shoreline blowing on whistles and ordering swimmers out of the water.
(Photo: National Geographic Magazines)
Fuengirola beach, one of the most popular of the Costa del Sol with British and Irish tourists, was closed for five hours while patrol boats searched for the fish. The red flag was hoisted along nearly two miles of coastline.
The beach was eventually reopened after nothing untoward was found. On Friday a beach in Valencia, eastern Spain, was closed after a shark sighting. Bathers were allowed back in the water at Patacona beach after around two and a half hours.
Illetas is part of the municipality of Calvia and around six miles to the west of the Majorcan capital Palma.
It is a short drive from Palmanova and Magaluf, which are both popular resorts with Brits and in the same municipality.
A boy on an Alabama beach was struck and killed Wednesday by a log washed ashore by storm surge from Tropical Storm Cindy, which spun bands of severe weather ashore from the Florida panhandle to east Texas as it churned ever closer to the Gulf coast.
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Capt. Stephen Arthur said witnesses reported the 10-year-old boy from Missouri was standing outside a condominium in Fort Morgan when the log, carried in by a large wave, struck him. Arthur said the youth was vacationing with his family from the St. Louis area and that relatives and emergency workers tried to revive him. He wasn’t immediately identified.
It was the first known fatality from Cindy. The storm formed Tuesday and was expected to make landfall some time late Wednesday or early Thursday. The storm was expected to come ashore near the Louisiana-Texas line but the severe weather extended far to the east. National Weather Service forecasters estimated it had had dumped anywhere from 2 to 10 inches (50 to 250 millimeters) of rain on various spots along the Gulf Coast from south Louisiana to the Florida panhandle as of Wednesday. And more rain was on the way.
Alek Krautmann at the weather service office in Slidell, Louisiana, said more moisture was heading in from the Gulf Wednesday evening.
“There were plenty of breaks today, but it’s filled in a little more this afternoon,” he said.
Coastal roads and some buildings flooded. There were several reports of possible short-lived tornadoes.
In Gulfport, Mississippi, Kathleen Bertucci said heavy rainfall Wednesday sent about 10 inches of water into her business, Top Shop, which sells and installs granite countertops.
“It’s pretty disgusting, but I don’t have flood insurance because they took me out of the flood zone,” said Bertucci, whose store is near a bayou. “We’re just trying to clean everything up and hope it doesn’t happen again.”
In nearby Biloxi, a waterspout moved ashore Wednesday morning. Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said there were no injuries but fences, trees and power lines were damaged.
Storms also downed trees in the Florida Panhandle. Fort Walton Beach spokeswoman Jo Soria said fallen trees hit houses and cars in what she called “pockets of wind damage” in two or three residential neighborhoods.
Also Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, like his Alabama counterpart a day earlier. He was among authorities stressing that the storm’s danger wasn’t limited to the coast.
In Knoxville, Tennessee, the power-generating Tennessee Valley Authority, said it was drawing down water levels on nine lakes it controls along the Tennessee River and its tributaries in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, anticipating heavy runoff from Cindy’s rains once the storm moves inland. The TVA manages 49 dams to regulate water, provide power and help control downstream flooding.
The storm was centered Wednesday afternoon about 135 miles (215 kilometers) south of Lake Charles, Louisiana and had top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph). A tropical storm warning was in effect along the coast from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the mouth of the Mississippi River.
In Alabama, streets were flooded and beaches were closed on the barrier island of Dauphin Island. Some roads were covered with water in the seafood village of Bayou La Batre, but Becca Caldemeyer still managed to get to her bait shop at the city dock. If only there were more customers, she said.
“It’s pretty quiet,” Caldemeyer said by phone from Rough Water Bait and Tackle. “Nobody can cast a shrimp out in this kind of wind.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the State Operations Center to raise its readiness level. He also activated four Texas Task Force 1 boat squads and two Texas Military Department vehicles squads of five vehicles each for weather-related emergencies.
The Louisiana National Guard dispatched high water vehicles and helicopters into flood-prone areas. The state said the Federal Emergency Management Agency also was moving 125,000 meals and 200,000 liters of water into Louisiana. And workers on Grand Isle, Louisiana’s barrier island community south of New Orleans, reinforced a rock levee protecting the island’s vulnerable west side.
“All arms of the state’s emergency preparedness and response apparatus are taking Tropical Storm Cindy seriously, and we are calling on all Louisianans throughout the state to do so as well,” Edwards said in a statement.
Associated Press writers Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans; Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jeff Amy and Emily Wagster in Jackson, Mississippi; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Kimberly Chandler in Montgomery, Alabama; and Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report.
BELLEVILLE, Mo. A southern Illinois man accused of stomping a kitten to death because he wasn’t allowed to take it on a light rail train has been charged with felony animal cruelty. The suspect, 23-year-old DeCarlos Johnson-Foston, is jailed on $75,000 bond. St. Clair County sheriff’s Capt. Bruce Fleshren said Johnson-Foston was at a Belleville MetroLink station Friday with a kitten on his shoulder. A security guard told him the cat would not be allowed on the train.
Fleshren said Johnson-Foston slammed the kitten to the platform and stomped on its head, then walked away and left on a bus. Police say they tracked him to a bus stop and discovered that he had also stolen a wallet while riding the bus. Belleville is 15 miles southeast of St. Louis.