By Courtney Pike, Angling Correspondent
A windsurfer had an amazing escape when a shark bit a huge chunk out of his board close to Felixstowe Pier.
Christopher Mills, 36, was surfing yesterday when something threw him off balance and into the water. As he surfaced he saw a shark swim away before disappearing beneath the waves.
Mr Mills, a recruitment consultant for an Ipswich firm, managed to scramble to shore in a panic – and only then noticed a huge chunk had been bitten from his board.
“It was terrifying,” he said. “I had heard of sharks off Cornwall but had not realised they had now moved around the coast to the North Sea. It must be global warming.
“I assume the shark was not after me because it swam off. Perhaps it thought the board was a seal or something.”
He has now given his board to experts so they can establish what it was that bit it.
They say it is too early to confirm what sort of shark attacked the Suffolk surfer, but they are not ruling out a link to the Great White Shark that was spotted hunting seals off Waldringfield last summer.
Bartholomew Quint, of the UK Shark Society, said: “Our team is examining Mr Mills’ board in order to match the bite marks to a particular species. To be on the safe side, we would suggest open-water swimmers, fisherman and surfers should be extra vigilant while in the North Sea around Suffolk.”
He confirmed that the diameter of the bite mark indicated that whatever it was that chewed on Mr Mills’ surfboard was around eight-foot long.
Local woman Lorraine Fisher, 34, was also concerned that her dog had gone missing.
* EDIT: It later emerged that the Felixstowe mayor and police chief had clashed over the shark reports.
** EDIT EDIT: Local fisherman hired to catch and kill the shark.
*** EDIT EDIT EDIT: The shark was killed, but it did not end well for the fisherman.