LONDON – It looks as if it may be safe to go back into the water after all.
Weeks after British television stations broadcast grainy images of suspicious-looking fins backed by the score from the film "Jaws," one of the men behind the sightings admitted he had been lying.
Bouncer Kevin Keeble claimed he had a photograph showing a great white shark about a mile off the coast of Cornwall, southwest England, but on Wednesday told his local paper the picture was actually taken while on vacation in South Africa.
Shark experts weren't surprised. At the time of the sightings, they had argued there was no proof the fearsome fish had paid British shores a visit. Experts say there's no hard evidence of a great white population in the Northeast Atlantic.
But that didn't stop the media frenzy that started when The Sun tabloid warned that British shores were being haunted by a man-eating monster.
Keeble said he couldn't believe anyone had been foolish enough to take the picture seriously.
"I didn't even get any money out of it," The Newquay Voice quoted him as saying. "If I'd have made a few quid (dollars) then maybe I could have gone on another fishing trip to South Africa."