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A shark was spotted off Dwejra in Gozo on Thursday morning, sparking panic among a group of swimmers in the vicinity.
The estimated two-metre long fish was seen near the area known as Crocodile Rock.
Witnesses said the shark kept circling them, and since the rock is completely detached from the mainland, the swimmers climbed to small rock, until captain Adrian Borg spotted them as he was navigating his boat.
"The moment they saw me they started waving to attract my attention," Borg told Times of Malta.
"As I approached them they told me what had happened and how they got trapped on the rock."
Borg piloted his boat near the rock and the tourists jumped aboard safely and also managed to capture some videos and pictures.
"I sail these waters frequently, but I never saw anything like it. It was kind of scary," he said.
Just four fatal attacks around the world
Marine biologist Alan Deidun identified it as a blue shark.
"It is probably a juvenile since it was less than two metres long," said Deidun, who insisted that a shark attack was very unlikely.
"Blue shark attacks on humans are extremely rare. Only four fatal ones have been reported globally to date," he said.
"We, as humans, on the other hand, do much worse to the blue shark. For intance, it is estimated that at least 10 million of these sharks are trapped in commercial fishing nets each year. No wonder this species is listed as critically endangered in the Mediterranean."
Deidun said the species was quite common in Maltese waters though the numbers have plummeted.
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