Watch amazing close up video of dolphins swimming off the Hartlepool coast
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Nathan Hobday captured this great video of the silvery mammals arching in and out of the waves just a mile off coast.
Mr Hobday spotted them swimming alongside his vessel at about 9am on Monday, June 22.
He said: “They were about a mile South East of the Heugh breakwater.
“I’m Master onboard a standby/crew change vessel that works out of Hartlepool.
“We had just finished morning preparations as part of the Brent Alpha arrival when I saw them.
“It’s not the first time I have seen dolphins, but it is only the second time they’ve interacted with a vessel I’ve been on.”
The huge Brent Alpha oil rig is due to arrive at Able UK’s Seaton Port, south of Hartlepool, this week to be scrapped.
It follows the dramatic arrival of the 255,000 tonne Brent Bravo rig exactly a year ago this month.
Both were part of the Shell Brent oilfield located off the Shetland Islands.
Nathan shared his video of the dolphins on social media with the caption: “Always nice to have a little company on the journey home.”
It attracted lots of positive comments with one woman commenting: “Wow fantastic what a lucky man you are.”“Beautiful", “marvellous” and “absolutely stunning” were just some of the other comments.
It is not the first time that dolphins have been spotted off the North East coast recently.
It was believed the animals had come from Scotland.
Around the same time dolphins sightings were also reported of the group enjoying the water at Whitley Bay.
And seven white-beaked dolphins were spotted off the coast at Whitburn.
A spokesperson for the Marine Management organisation said: “As we get warmer weather it’s quite common for dolphins, porpoises and whales to visit English shores.
“This offers a fantastic opportunity for wildlife watchers but it is essential that the health and well-being of the animals is considered at all times and that we keep our distance when observing them.”