Donegal shark encounter 'tense and exciting'

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Media captionGraham Smith filmed the shark swimming underneath his kayak

A kayaker from County Donegal has described a close encounter with a basking shark as "tense and exciting."

Graham Smith was fishing in Tullagh Bay near Inishowen on Thursday when he encountered the six metre long shark.

The basking shark is the second largest fish in the ocean. The whale shark is the biggest.

"I'm quite familiar with the water as I fish a lot but when something like this happens, the sea suddenly becomes a scary place," said Graham Smith.

"I nearly had a heart attack when I saw five sharks coming towards me but it was humbling that the biggest of them all was the friendliest.

"He shot in below the kayak with his mouth opened and that was the moment when I thought I was doomed.

"At one stage he almost came nose to nose with me and spent around 10 to 15 minutes with me. It wasn't until I got out of the water when I realised what a tense and exciting experience I had.

"I was that amazed I wasn't quite sure if the camera was recording. I'm delighted I have the footage to share with everyone. Something like this doesn't happen too often."

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