A workman from Cornwall witnessed the wayward seal scupper the small boat.

A scaffolder from Cornwall says he saw a seal singlehandedly sink a fishing boat.

Thor Gustafsson told the West Briton newspaper that he thought he was watching someone who’d fallen overboard trying to climb aboard the vessel, which was moored to a line of buoys in a Cornish harbour.

Gustafsson spotted the small boat rolling wildly when he showed up for work and happened to look out at the water in Coverack, some 10 miles south of Falmouth near Cornwall’s southern tip.

“First I thought it might have been a man in danger, struggling to board the small blue and white boat as it listed to the side,” Gustafsson said.

He said he would have alerted the coastguard immediately, but his mobile phone had no reception in the small village, so he went in search of someone with a landline.

“I knocked on the door of the lady whose place we were working at, and suggested to her that she should call them up.

“She brought out her binoculars and then mentioned in surprise: ‘It’s a great seal’.

Gustafsson said he suspected the seal was going after fish or some kind of food that had been left in the fishing boat, and that once the seal managed to get over the gunwale there wasn’t much that could be done.

“It wasn’t long before water started rushing in – and within less than a minute we witnessed the boat sink,” said Gustafsson, when he contacted the West Briton to report the story.

“I thought it might be interesting to hear about the flip side of seals … probably upsetting some of the local fishermen.”

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