Kind beach-goers save 'dolphin' stranded on shore -- except it wasn't a dolphin

Two kind-hearted beach-goers decided to help out a 'stranded dolphin' they spotted on the shore -- only it wasn't exactly the friendly mammal they expected.

According to Daily Star, Nicolas Andre thought he was rescuing a dolphin washed up on the sand at Cornwall, England, but it was actually a 3.6-metre basking shark.

The 49-year-old, with the help of another man, tried to take the 'dolphin' back into the sea.

Thankfully, the predator did not decide to bite the hands that were helping it. The two men are lucky to escape with all their limbs intact. 

"I’ve never seen a shark that close – let alone touched one in my whole life," said Nicolas, from Durham.

"It was an incredible feeling to actually feel the strength and weight of the animal."

The brave moment was caught on camera yesterday after Nicolas and his wife Ann, 57, noticed a couple wrestling with the large fish and decided to go and help. 

He cut his arms and legs in the process. 

 "The shark’s skin was very abrasive and there was far too much weight," said Nicholas. He had to take off his T-shirt to wrap around its tail.

"It took a few attempts to pull it into the sea as we were waiting for the waves. When it was back in the water, I took my T-shirt off the tail and it was a like a switch had been flicked – the shark just flew off."

Basking sharks regularly visit the Cornish coast in the summer months and are actually quite docile.

They only eat Plankton, have no teeth and are not considered a threat to humans. However, an accidental swipe of the tail can do some serious damage.