Rare UK sighting of a sailfish leaves Cromer fishermen awestruck

A sailfish caught off the coast of Guatemala . Picture: SHIRLEY DETERDING

A sailfish caught off the coast of Guatemala . Picture: SHIRLEY DETERDING

Three Cromer fishermen, including lifeboat coxswain John Davies, watched in awe as a rare and striking sailfish performed acrobatics in front of them.

The trio were fishing about two-and-a-half-miles north-east of Cromer earlier this month when they heard a large splash.

'We turned to look and it jumped clear of the water at least six times,' said Mr Davies.

'It was about eight to 12 feet long, including its sword, with a blue body and a big, black, square dorsal fin.

'I've never seen anything like it before. I didn't know what it was but I looked it up on the internet later.'

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The sailfish, a member of the marlin family, has a characteristic dorsal fin known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of its back, and an elongated bill.

Sailfish are the fastest fish in the ocean and have been clocked leaping out of the water at more than 68 miles (110km) per hour. They are found in warm and temperate parts of the world's oceans and UK sightings are very unusual.

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