A stunned fisherman has filmed a pod of killer whales swimming off the Northumberland coast in what is thought to be the first sighting in years.
Glen Annison, from Seahouses, captured the impressive sight on video as he and a crew headed out to haul lobster pots yesterday morning.
He said he and the others were "over the moon" to see the huge whales rising out of the water about six miles East of Seahouses harbour.
Glen, who was with the Standsure crew at the time of the sighting, has been working on the Northumberland coast since he was 16.
But the pod of the distinctive black and white whales is a first for the 32-year-old experienced fisherman, Chronicle Live reports.
He said: “It’s one of the best sights we’ve had – you see dolphins and minke whales all the time, but I’ve never seen killer whales before.
“We were over the moon – we’re going to have another look tomorrow to see if they’re still out there.
"We couldn’t get that close – with dolphins and minke whale they’ll play with the boats, but these didn’t seem interested – but it was still a nice sight for us.”
The sighting, which occurred at around 7am yesterday, is thought to be the first of the creatures in the area in several years.
In Glen’s footage, a voice can be heard saying: "Killer whales over there."
Kelsey Potlock, a masters researcher at Newcastle University, studies cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises.
She said the video can be identified as being of killer whales, based on the straight, dark dorsal fin and the pattern of the creatures’ blow.
“I believe they’re extremely rare around these parts – they have been seen around the area in the past, but are very rare," she said.
She added that she believes the whales would have been drawn to the area to hunt the seal population at the Farne Islands.
“Killer whales predate on seals in other locations, though they are known to hunt other sea mammals," she said.
"So I’d say it’s probably the seals on the Farne Islands that would be the driver.”
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