On a recent sunny Saturday afternoon, as David Rogers leisurely walked his beloved Miniature Schnauzer Luna along the sandy shores of Hook near the Solent Breezes Holiday Park, his eyes were suddenly drawn to an intriguing sight. Gazing out onto the glistening waters, a peculiar shape caught his curiosity - a sizeable fin emerging from beneath the rippling waves.

With uncertainty clouding his thoughts, he couldn't quite make out the mysterious object. However, he suspected that it might be a basking shark - a type of fish that is second only to the whale shark in terms of size and can be found in UK oceans.

A great deal of speculation sparked among readers due to the peculiar event - various theories were proposed, ranging from a sleeping seal to a shark fin positioned atop a pole.

Experts stated that it is not likely to be a basking shark. Instead, they believe it is more probable to be the sighting of a dolphin if indeed it is an animal at all.

But this wasn't the first time a shark was found in Southampton and surrounding waters.

Shark found on Lepe Beach

Earlier this year, on a beach in Hampshire, a fascinating discovery was made - an incredibly rare dead shark.

The fascinating creature known as a small tooth sand tiger was discovered struggling in the waters of Lepe Beach one evening

Daily Echo:

In a remarkable act of compassion, Alisha Openshaw came to the aid of the distressed shark, bravely assisting in its journey towards deeper waters but it was found dead on the same beach just hours later.

The astonishing shark's body has been dissected, with its head, tail, and fin removed.

When encountering a shark washed up on the shore, it is within your rights to remove its head, allowing you to retain both the head and its teeth.

Basking shark near Cobden Bridge

A significant number of people flocked to Cobden Bridge in 1956, filled with wonder and amazement at the sheer magnitude of a deceased shark, believed to have possessed a weight of several hundred pounds.

Initially believed to be a porbeagle, evidence suggested that the mysterious creature spotted was possibly a basking shark.

Daily Echo:

The creature’s body was hoisted into the air at Dyer’s Boatyard but when it began to decompose and smell, it was quickly towed back out to sea.

But the most common sharks sighted off Hampshire are threshers, porbeagles and even the deadly blue shark.

Shark found in Rose Garden fountain

In the midst of a calm Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1978, the Echo's editorial team gathered around the lunch table, savouring the tranquility.

Suddenly three excited young men burst in through the front door.

“There’s a shark in the fountain at the Rose Gardens!”

Daily Echo:

Much to everyone's astonishment, their claims turned out to be true!

At the base of the fountain, the lifeless predator rested, unable to cause fear among shoppers and those who passed by.

Amid the curious onlookers, a young man who claimed to be uninvolved in the shark incident, bravely stepped into the water with his motorcycle boots. With great caution, he gently prodded the creature with his foot before retrieving it by its tail.

Daily Echo:

It turned out to be about four and a half foot long and somewhat smelly, and immediately generated much discussion as passers-by pondered as to what kind of shark it was – perhaps a tope.

But the biggest mystery that nobody at the time could fathom was how the fishy fiend managed to get into the fountain at all.

Danny Vokins had a 400lb thresher jump in his boat

During a fishing competition off the Isle of Wight in 1981, Danny Vokins found himself in a thrilling encounter with a colossal thresher shark.

Daily Echo:

The 400lb beast stalked their boat before leaping clean through the air and onto the deck.

The thresher, which stuns prey with its large tail, is one of 31 species of shark circling Britain -  including the short-fin mako and even one type of hammerhead.

Danny Vokins made the headlines again with the “catch of a lifetime”

In an unexpected turn of events, his reputation soared to unexpected heights when he hooked a "catch of a lifetime". The colossal thresher weighed a staggering 500lb (226kg), captured in the waters merely five miles away from St Catherine's Point.

 It is one of the biggest sharks ever hooked in British waters.

Daily Echo:

Although the shark was the biggest thresher ever caught on by line and rod, it was never officially confirmed because it was tagged and put back into the sea.

Only sharks that are killed and then weighed on the shore go into the record books.  This was never an option for Danny though, he was more concerned for the creature’s welfare than breaking records.

Shark Meat was once offered to customers at Carrefour

But, back in 1978, we weren’t so aware of the decline in shark numbers and the effect it has on the food chain in general.

Daily Echo:

Carrefour hypermarket, which was once in Chandlers Ford, invited shoppers to stop in and sample ‘shark and chips’ - essentially a hunk of shark meat!