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GUMS; Bathers' delight as they swim with a 12ft basking shark and her baby.

Byline: By Lachlan Mackinnon

IT'S a sight that would normally have bathers swimming desperately for the beach.

Two black fins cut through the water in a scene like the film Jaws.

But none of the bathers are worried because the 12ft mother and her baby are basking sharks.

And a better name for them would be Gums, because they are totally harmless to humans. The pair are delighting locals and holidaymakers in west Cornwall.

And we could see similar scenes in Scotland, where sightings of the sharks are up 65 per cent in four years because of climate change.

Rachel Hosken, who took the amazing pictures from a clifftop, said: 'They've been a huge tourist attraction. People are flocking to see them and swim with them and they seem to be really friendly.'

Ali Hood, director of conservation for the Shark Trust, said: 'The area round Land's End is a hotspot for sighting basking sharks.

'As the water warms up over the summer months, they will travel all the way up to Scotland

CAPTION(S):

MAKING A SPLASH: The sharks swim peacefully beside a young surfer, above, and other swimmers
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 17, 2005
Words:190
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