By CHARLES WALFORD
Grandmother Jeanette Longley grapples with the blue shark after it was stranded on the beach
This is the dramatic moment a grandmother bravely grappled with a 6ft killer shark.
But rather than protecting her own life, Jeanette Longley was in fact trying to save the creature that had become stranded on a Dorset beach.
The 56-year-old gave no thought for her safety as she tried to move the floundering blue shark back into the sea.
Careful not to put her hands too close to the fearsome fish’s mouth, Mrs Longley wrestled with it in a bid to roll it down the shingle towards the water at West Bay, near Bridport.
The blue shark was alive when Mrs Longley helped it back into the sea, but there are fears it may have later died
But she twice ended up falling into the sea with the monster fish when strong waves knocked her off her feet.
Mrs Longley, a widow, eventually managed to get the shark into water deep enough for it to swim away by its own accord.
Blue sharks do live in UK waters but are usually found about 20 miles out to sea.
They have been known to attack humans and in 2009 there were 13 attacks on people around the world, resulting in four deaths.
Mrs Longley, from Bridport, said she gave little thought for her safety when she saw the struggling shark.
Mrs Longley said she acted because 'something had to be done'
She said: 'A friend and I were taking our dogs for a walk along the beach when we saw some people stood around an object on the beach.
'I thought I saw a dolphin at first but as we got closer I realised it was a shark.
'People were stood around watching but when I realised it was alive I decided to do something.
'It was thrashing about but it couldn’t get back into the water by itself.
'The only way to get it into the sea and save it was to roll it into the water.
'I didn’t really think about my safety or it biting me - it was just something that had to be done.
The 6ft shark was stranded on the shingle before Mrs Longley came to its rescue
'I was aware there were some people behind me on the beach and I was aware of some of them saying things like "careful it doesn’t bite you".
'It was very heavy and powerful and kept thrashing about. I kept losing my footing and was knocked over by the waves and into the water a couple of times.
'I suppose in hindsight that was when I was most at risk of it biting me but I am a good swimmer.
Picturesque: Mrs Longley wrestled with the shark on the water's edge at West Bay, near Bridport
Friday, January 6, 2012
By CHARLES WALFORD