Video thumbnail, Moment fisherman spots 20ft shark off Yorkshire coast
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Fisherman Russ Conlon expected an ordinary catch off the Yorkshire coast.

The former Huddersfield man and his pal Richard Emmerson thought they might end up with a lobster or two as they sailed out of Flamborough.

What they didn’t bargain for was a 20-foot shark, swimming within a few feet of their boat.

The couldn’t believe their eyes when the shark swam up as they pulled in their lobster pots.

Richard and Russ were busy on Wednesday morning when they spotted a dorsal fin in the North Sea waters off Flamborough.

The Basking Shark spotted by Richard Emmerson and Russ Conlon
The Basking Shark spotted by Richard Emmerson and Russ Conlon

Richard, 55, steered their boat to within a few feet of the shark while Russ, 53, filmed it on his mobile phone.

Richard said: “In 38 years of fishing this is the first time we’ve ever seen a basking shark.

“We were absolutely gobsmacked - as soon as I saw the dorsal fin and the the tail I knew it was a large shark.

“I couldn’t resist going in for a closer look. It’s not every day you see a 20ft shark when you’re out fishing for lobster.

“It was a great evening too - everyone wanted to know about the shark, it was the talk of the town.

PIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Flamborough fishermen Rich Emmerson, left, and Russ Conlon spotted a group of basking sharks in the sea as they were Lobster potting from their boat Prosperity) - Two lobster fishermen were left stunned as a 20ft shark swam up to within a few feet of their Yorkshire coble boat. Fishermen Richard Emmerson and Russ Conlon were sorting lobster pots on Wednesday morning when they spotted a dorsal fin in the water off Flamborough, Yorkshire. Richard, 55, steered their wooden 30ft Yorkshire coble, Prosperity, to within a few feet of the shark while Russ, 53, filmed it on his mobile phone. SEE CATERS COPY.

“Apparently it’s one of just a handful of sightings of a basking shark in the North Sea ever recorded.”

A basking shark in the wild
A basking shark in the wild

Basking sharks are more commonly associated with the South West coast and the Isle of Man - where tourists flock to see them as they arrive to feed in the warmer coastal waters.

Despite their size, basking sharks are not aggressive and feed entirely on plankton.