Moment an 18ft shark comes within inches of a stunned swimmer off the coast of ...

Moment an 18ft shark comes within inches of a stunned swimmer off the coast of Scotland Ryan Leith, 48, saw two sharks off the coast of the Shetland Islands, Scotland  The swimmer came within inches of an 18-foot shark with its jaws open He says their numbers are increasing with more shark sightings in recent weeks

By Joseph Laws For Mailonline

Published: 19:02 BST, 5 September 2020 | Updated: 19:12 BST, 5 September 2020

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A swimmer came within inches of an 18-foot shark with its jaws open off the coast of Scotland.

Ryan Leith, 48, spent days scouring the Shetland Islands for basking sharks before his encounter with one. 

'I had just about given up when I saw not one, but two sharks just off the coastline at Fladdabister,' he said.

Ryan Leith came within inches of an 18-foot shark with its jaws open off the coast of Scotland. The shark is seen above

Ryan Leith came within inches of an 18-foot shark with its jaws open off the coast of Scotland. The shark is seen above

'They were feeding on the abundant plankton that blooms in the sea around Shetland during the summer.

'I stopped the boat and dropped the anchor. The shark seemed to be interested in the boat and swam towards it almost immediately.

'I took a lot of photos of it on the surface and then, as it seemed quite relaxed, I went over the side with my snorkelling gear on.'  

Ryan Leith, 48, spent days scouring the Shetland Islands for basking sharks before his encounter with one last Thursday

Ryan Leith, 48, spent days scouring the Shetland Islands for basking sharks before his encounter with one last Thursday

Mr Leith, a port controller for Lerwick Port Authority, estimated the shark he saw last Thursday was 18 feet long.

'I waited close to the boat and filmed the shark with my GoPro as

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