A LUCKY kayaker has been told to “do the Lotto” after spotting an incredibly rare angel shark off the coast of Ireland.
Colin O’Loan, who was kayaking with a group of kids and another Galway Bay Sailing Club instructor, shared the special footage with his followers yesterday evening.
The large angel shark was captured in the Renville area.
Many locals and Twitter users rushed to the comments after watching the brilliant footage.
Galway Atlantiquaria said: “Fair play for not panicking, that’s a one in a million experience. And the footage is amazing.”
And Colin replied: “Yeah, a lady that studies them got in contact and said I should go out and do the Lotto.”
Someone else commented: “Incredible footage. Wow.”
Colin also told how he first thought the shark was a ray – and named him after Kerry politician Jackie Healy-Rae.
But when he got home he discovered it was a rare sea creature.
He added: “What a treat for the 10 kids I had out on a kayak course.
“Thought it was a type of ray at first so I named him Jackie Healy.
“It was only when I got home and did a bit of research that I found out what we were dealing with. Class day.”
The Marine Institute – Ireland’s national agency for marine research, development & innovation – said angel sharks are “one of the rarest in Europe”.
They added: “Exciting scenes yesterday in Rinville, Co Galway with an extremely rare #angelshark sighted by a local kayaking group, in the shores surrounding the Marine Institute HQ!
“We are delighted to have confirmed the sighting of one of the rarest sharks in Europe.
“Ronan Breathnach and Colm O’Loan @irishcharcoal are the two kayak instructors from the Galway Bay Sailing Club who shot this footage.
“What a great day out for the group of 12 budding marine scientist of the future that they took out on the water yesterday!
“Not only did they get to explore the marine environment in a non-invasive way, but they also got to see a critically endangered marine animal.”
Angel sharks are listed as “critically endangered” on the Irish Red List for cartilaginous fish.
Inland Fisheries Ireland added: “Angel sharks are benthic inhabitants of the seabed of inshore coastal waters and can be found in depths of 5-150m.
“A nocturnal species, angelsharks hide in mud or sand during the day.
“The angelshark is viviparous, with females giving birth to litters of up to 13 ‘pups’.”
BASKING SHARKS SIGHTING
Meanwhile, Cork TD Christopher O’Sullivan, who can be found on Instagram at @christopher_o_sullivan_td, recently shared brilliant footage of people watching basking sharks in Irish waters.
His video shows two giant basking sharks in the clear blue water near Courtmacsherry in West Cork.
Basking sharks are the second-largest living shark but they cause no harm to people.
Chris said: “Basking sharks are a joy to spend time with.
“No video clip could ever do justice to their true size. They are giants.
“The second biggest fish on the planet. Perfect conditions today on our trip out from Courtmacsherry.”
He captured the footage while on a whale-watching boat tour with Atlantic Whale & Wildlife Tours.
Many people rushed to the comments to share their thoughts on the clip.
One commented: “Ohhhh wow!”