This is the moment a stunned holidaymaker thought he was rescuing a dolphin and carried it to the sea – but it turned out to be a SHARK.
Nicolas Andre came to the aid of a stranded 12-foot animal which got stuck in shallow waters.
With the help of another man, he wrapped his t-shirt around the tail and pulled it to the safety of the deeper water.
But what he thought was a dolphin turned out to be a SHARK.
Mr Andre, 49, from Durham, said: “I’ve never seen a shark that close – let alone touched one in my whole life.
“It was an incredible feeling to actually feel the strength and weight of the animal.”
Nicolas was out walking with his wife Ann, 57, on the coastal path between Kynance Cove and Lizard Point in Cornwall on Monday when they spotted a couple wrestling with what looked like a dolphin’s tail on the shoreline.
He said: “The beach had no access, but I legged it down the hill anyway.
“I started to help the man there, and I realised that it was not a dolphin but a basking shark of about four-metres in length.”
Mr Andre wrapped his t-shirt around the shark‘s tail and helped the other man pull the animal back into the water – ripping his t-shirt to shreds in the process.
He added: “The shark‘s skin was very abrasive and there was far too much weight.
“It took a few attempts to pull it into the sea as we were waiting for the waves.
“When it was back in the water, I took my t-shirt off the tail and it was a like a switch had been flicked – the shark just flew off.”
Although Mr Andre cut his arms and legs in the rescue, he said the shark did not feel aggressive or dangerous.
“For me it was just a matter of trying to get it back into the water as soon as possible.
“It was amazing to actually feel a shark and to then see it going back into the water. It made me feel great.”
Mr Andre lost the other couple’s contact details after his phone sustained water damage during the rescuing but hopes they will get in touch.
Basking sharks regularly visit the Cornish coast in the summer months.
Even though they are the world’s second largest fish, they only eat Plankton and have no teeth.