Blue shark spotted bathing near Rome beach

Posted at 08/23/2012 10:54 AM | Updated as of 08/23/2012 10:56 AM

ROME, Italy - Italian holidaymakers had more than just a lazy day in the sun Wednesday after a rare visit from a blue shark that came to wallow just 10 meters from a beach outside Rome, said local coastguard.

Swimmers were ordered out of the water as a precaution though the 1.5-meter long shark -- tempted inshore to bathe in hotter-than-usual water temperatures in the Mediterranean as southern Europe swelters under a heatwave -- was thought to be harmless.

"There were some moments of anxiety -- I saw some scared adults and children arrive at the square but the really young kids were curious," head of the military coastguard at Castel Fusano, near the Rome suburb of Ostia, told the Ansa agency.

"The children were saying they saw a fin come out of the water, just like in a film."

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