DOZENS of dolphins were spotted frolicking off Sussex’s coastline yesterday morning (Sunday, August 16).
Luke Biddlecombe spotted the mammals while he was sailing home from the Isle of Wight with a group of six of his friends.
The group was sailing in a convoy of three ships when they encountered the pod of dolphins about a mile off the shore from Climping, near Littlehampton.
The 33-year-old, who lives in Climping, said: “All of the sudden one of my friends spotted a dolphin. We thought it was just one of them.
“Then there was a whole pod of them of about 30 or 40. We couldn’t believe it.
“A couple of years ago we saw a seal in the River Arun but never anything like this. It’s rare enough seeing one dolphin but to see 30 or 40 of them – that was just amazing.”
Luke, who has been sailing since he was a child and has owned his own boat for about seven years, said the dolphins followed him and his friends for about 20 minutes.
“They were playing in the wake and in the bow wave,” added Luke.
“It was amazing really. I have been to the Azures before whale watching and it was fairly similar to that. I
“It was a great experience and we were absolutely amazed by it.
“It was a great way to end a great weekend.”
Dolphin sightings aren’t uncommon along the Sussex coastline.
In recent years common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins have been spotted relaxing in the waters.
Steve Savage, a regional co-ordinator of the Sea Watch Foundation – a national marine environmental charity which works to improve the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the seas around the UK – said: “It’s pretty unusual to have them around and certainly with the increasing water sports near shot, it’s uncommon to see them closer to the shore.”
All those who spot dolphins, seals or porpoises are being urged to report them on the Sea Watch website.
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