Hundreds of holidaymakers in Majorca were sent fleeing from the sea as an eight-foot shark was pulled onto a beach.

The blue shark, thought to have been harpooned, came close to the shore at three popular Majorcan beaches before it was dragged from the water by lifeguards and put down.

The shark was spotted near swimmers in Illetas close to Magaluf just after midday on Saturday.

It was later pictured on the beach after it was caught by lifeguards and taken to shore at about 5pm.

Local reports said it had a serious head injury, caused by a harpoon, which was why it had approached the packed beaches.

The shark came and went within five minutes, sparking pandemonium causing swimmers to race out of the water, according to The Sun.

One man was trapped and unable to get back in to shore so a lifeguard paddled out to rescue him.

Musician Tim Prottey-Jones, 27,  was with wife  An­g­ela, 36, when he snapped the  beast. He said: “At least 100 people were in the water. Two minutes later it was deserted.

“Parents were picking up their kids, running out and shouting at others to leave. My wife was just about to go for a swim, but suddenly everyone was running out of the water.

“I shouted to her that there was a shark, but she thought I was joking –  then she saw it too.”

Earlier Can Pastilla beach, a short drive east of the Majorcan capital Palma, had become the third beach in two days to be closed to bathers following a shark sighting.

Illetas beach was the first to be closed at around midday on Saturday.

Cala Major beach just west of Palma was declared off limits to swimmers following a second sighting.