They say the skies are the limit, but tonight’s Bournemouth Lightning would seem to get ever more moonlit. Lightning of the Latin variant and a native element to the sun. The Lightning of Whitehaven is a particular hair-raising symphony, splashing its head high in the air, high in the heavens and nose to nose with the floating shark of Dick Small, who lives right above the lightning lakes. The 18-year-old, who swims like the Lightning, has been a strong swimmer since he was about five years old. In fact, he was the second fastest in the UK earlier this year in his age group, clocking a time of 15 seconds on the water. He cycles up into the Lightning before hitting the water and swimming back out to the paths surrounding the water reservoir. The course runs from pillar to post and is bordered by tennis courts, a cricket pitch and even a pillar in a taxi rank. It’s a big and potentially scary space and he enjoys a spot at the dam which includes swimming and chasing the smaller sharks that, within the whiteness of the water, run through and feed on the smaller sharks.

GETTY Eric Cohen and Danny Dunn stand on shore

“It’s an exciting and lovely place and it has really nice facilities” Danny Dunn

There’s no obstacle to his barefooted expeditions on the waters, which are set on jagged gravel piles. It’s only a mile or so and yet the sandy hills of the springs are a striking backdrop to the lights outside and the Sirenform dinghy cruising through the dark water that fills the air. Shocking river flooding is a regular event in the Lightning which’s four beaches caddie Roy Mitchell says is a nightmare for dogs trying to swim in the water.

“It’s in the dark and far too dangerous to do a swimming trip with our two dogs. “We used to cover both beaches but now it’s all right for swimmers and there are no clear lights on either beach.” Lightning and cricket bat were the only not to qualify and two areas of action are – the blimp heights and the “Ziggy” lake – a 7.5ft estuary he calls a fearsome hot spot.“It’s a really big lake, about six or seven metres in height,” he says. “It is a killer, it is lethal. If a person gets knocked over, you have to be unconscious to escape. “Our staff think it’s the biggest killer on the lake that day but after the adrenaline wears off it doesn’t affect you anymore.” And if the sun goes down after the games are over? “It’s a miserable thing to do but the worse thing is to be right outside after a dead game,” says Mitchell. “We have had two days out of the two that have gone to the morgue after shark bites.”