(ANSA) - Rome, August 22 - A small shark reached close to the shore of one of Rome's most popular beaches Wednesday, causing panic among swimmers. The shark, about 1.5 meters in length, came as close as 10 meters to the bathing establishment of Italy's Navy on the Ostia beach but then returned to sea. Bathers were alerted by a lifeguard, who saw the fin cut above the water's surface and called out a warning, causing a general panic. According to representatives of Italy's coast guard, who intervened on the spot, it is not uncommon for this type of shark to reach close to shore. Adolfo Esposito, a coast guard lieutenant, told ANSA that the warm temperature of the water or illness may have driven the shark towards the beach. "This type of shark can be dangerous only if a person gets too close, but if it isn't touched usually it is not dangerous," Esposito said. The coast guard alerted other bathing establishments to keep their eyes open for other possible sightings and reopened the beach to bathing shortly after the shark left.
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di Giovanni Pastore