Kayaker surrounded by five basking sharks off UK coast in ‘thrilling experience’

A lone kayaker witnessed the sight of five humongous sharks while out kayaking off the UK coast in what he described as as an "absolutely thrilling experience".

Rupert Kirkwood, 61, known as the lone kayaker, regularly encounters dolphins, porpoises and whales, but was unprepared for what he saw on his first kayak of the season off the coast of Lands End in Cornwall

Rupert, who likes to document what he sees and finds while out at sea, was enjoying an early morning kayak when he realised he was surrounded by a huge basking shark.

The ginormous creatures regularly reach around nine metres in length and are the second largest shark in the ocean after the whale shark.

Rupert explained that the shark came straight at him but dipped beneath his kayak and left a permanent mark on his kayak.

"I saw an enormous triangular black fin moving slowly across the surface about half a mile ahead.

"I cautiously approached and stopped because I did not want to frighten the shark.

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"But it clearly wasn't worried about frightening me, because it came straight towards me and dipped under my kayak, scuffing the hull with its dorsal fin.

"It was staggeringly huge, far, far wider than my kayak and approximately 20ft long.

"It circled round several more times to check me out and then wandered off along the line of plankton."

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Incredibly Richard came across four more basking sharks as he continued to kayak around the area that morning.

"I came across four more basking sharks during my twelve-mile kayak trip during the morning.

"How fantastic that these huge fish have returned to Cornish waters, especially as there were fears that they had fallen victim to global warming after failing to show up over the last few years."

Rupert said that the sharks spread over about three miles of coastline.

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