Swimming with dolphins on Hartlepool coast

A Hartlepool woman says swimming with dolphins off the coast of her home town was an experience she will never forget.

Angy Ellis, was with a group of fellow jet skiers when they stumbled across a huge pod of dolphins during the Bank Holiday weekend.

A dolphin enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend in Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

A dolphin enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend in Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

And, instead of being nervous of the four jet skies, the creatures decided it was time to play.

Angy, a professional photographer, was with her partner, Martin Watmough, and two other friends from the Jet Ski Club, which is based at Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Clubs, Mike Walker and Lee Lambo, when they spotted the dolphins on Sunday morning at about 10.30am.

She explained they rode down to the area near Steetley Pier because she wanted to take photos of her house at Marine Point.

Angy said: "I was taking some photos and one of the others said 'look over there' and we could see all the dolphins in the water.

A lovely day for a family swim. Photo by Angie Ellis Photography.

A lovely day for a family swim. Photo by Angie Ellis Photography.

"They started to swim away and we decided to follow them. We are very respectful to the marine life, so we weren't chasing them, just following at a distance.

"Then we realised they started to follow us where we were going with the skis, I don't know if it was just the low sound of the engines, but they decided they wanted to play.

"They were swimming alongside us and then under us and round us. We could have reached out an touched them, there were about 25 to 30 of them.

"I decided I had to jump in and swim with them, I was prepared to take the risk of death by dolphin, but they were fine and just swam past me."

There's something in the water. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

There's something in the water. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

Angy said being in the North Sea next to her own home town and having such a remarkable encounter was unbelievable.

She said: "It was the most amazing experience and something I will never, ever forget.

"It was a huge mix of emotions as well, I was crying, screaming, excited and just lost for words."

The photographer said being on the jet ski meant she only had a small waterproof camera with her, but she still managed to get some lovely photographs and even some video of their wildlife encounter.

Angie Ellis swimming with dolphins in Hartlepool. Photo courtesy of Angie Ellis Photography.

Angie Ellis swimming with dolphins in Hartlepool. Photo courtesy of Angie Ellis Photography.

Dolphins having fun in the sun at Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

Dolphins having fun in the sun at Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

One of the visitors to Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

One of the visitors to Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

A welcome visitor to the shores of Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.

A welcome visitor to the shores of Hartlepool. Photo by Angy Ellis Photography.