An eight-foot blue shark that caused pandemonium at a popular Majorcan holiday resort has been caught.
Panicked bathers ran out of the sea when the fish came close to the shore in Illetas close to Magaluf at midday yesterday and off Cala Major, a ten minute drive from Palma, at 9am this morning.
See also: Large shark spotted in Cornwall
The first sighting came and went within five minutes, sparking pandemonium among those who had seen it as well as those who hadn't but were caught up in the drama caused by bathers racing out of the water.
Lifeguards ordered people out of the water, before hoisting up the red flag and alerting police, following a new scare at a third beach.
Worried adults could be seen dragging children from the water
Tourists on the Can Pastilla Beach watch on as the shark is captured
The shark was caught and brought to shore by lifeguards at around 5pm today following the evacuation.
Local reports said it had a serious head injury caused by a harpoon, which led to it becoming disorientated and approaching packed holiday beaches instead of staying at high sea.
It was not immediately clear when or how the fish had been injured.
Experts from Palma Aquarium evaluated its injuries, amid fears it was so badly hurt it may have to be put down.
Extraordinary photos taken by stunned onlookers show the shark swimming towards a group of people including children on lilos.
The shark sparked pandemonium in the sea
Today Civil Guard were alerted and Civil Protection workers monitored the area for several hours afterwards to make sure the shark, known as a tintorera in Spanish, did not reappear.
The fish is thought to have neared the shore after becoming disorientated and vanished after swimming back out to sea.
A blue shark was blamed for an attack on a swimmer off a popular Ibiza holiday beach last month which left him needed emergency hospital treatment.
The Spanish pensioner was treated for a two-inch gash to his hand just over a week ago after being bitten off the beach at Playa d'en Bossa, home to famous clubs like Ushuaia and one of the most popular destinations on Ibiza for British and Irish tourists.
Terrified holiday makers were forced to flee the sea
Several people are said to have left the water after the incident, although the beach was not closed to swimmers.
First aiders launched a search for the fish but abandoned their hunt after about an hour when they failed to find any sign of it.
Blue shark are one of the most common species of sharks in the Mediterranean.
The same type of shark was blamed for an attack on a holidaymaker in Elche near Alicante last July.
The 40-year-old victim was rushed to hospital and given stitches to a wound in his hand.
Terrified bathers run out of the sea as the ocean predator approaches
First aiders described the bite as "large" and said he had come out of the sea with blood streaming from the injury.
The drama happened at Elche's Arenales del Sol beach.
The red flag was kept in place for around two hours when bathers were allowed back in the water.
Tourists were ordered out of the water last August in the Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola after bathers said they had spotted a shark.
Lifeguards on jet skis helped kids on dinghies and from an inflatable water park near where the shark was spotted to safety as colleagues ran along the shoreline blowing on whistles and ordering swimmers out of the water.
Fuengirola beach, one of the most popular of the Costa del Sol with British and Irish tourists, was closed for five hours while patrol boats searched for the fish.
A boat went looking for the shark but eventually had to abandon its mission
The red flag was hoisted along nearly two miles of coastline.
The beach was eventually reopened after nothing untoward was found.
On Friday a beach in Valencia, eastern Spain, was closed after a shark sighting.
Bathers were allowed back in the water at Patacona beach after around two and a half hours.
Illetas is part of the municipality of Calvia and around six miles to the west of the Majorcan capital Palma.
It is a short drive from Palmanova and Magaluf, which are both popular resorts with Brits and in the same municipality.