Joyful moment playful pod of dolphins jump out the water as they get up close to group of jet skiers near Bournemouth Pier in ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’


A group of jet skiers enjoyed a front row seat to a ‘once in a lifetime’ performance from a playful dolphin pod.

The three dolphins got metres away from their audience and jumped clear of the water near Bournemouth Pier, Dorset.

Lola Richardson and her six friends turned off their engines and enjoyed the incredible spectacle for about an hour, taking pictures and videos as the elegant mammals leapt through the air.

The 17-year-old A-Level student said: ‘One of my friends spotted them, and when we got closer, they started jumping off our wake and playing with us.

‘I’ve never seen a dolphin before. I didn’t realise how big they were; it was huge, enormous, massive. I was actually quite scared but at the same time really excited.

Lola Richardson, 17, and her six friends spotted the three aquatic mammals near Bournemouth Pier, Dorset
Lola Richardson, 17, and her six friends spotted the three aquatic mammals near Bournemouth Pier, Dorset
The A-Level student said the bottlenose dolphins were 'jumping off our wake and playing with us' in an 'amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience'
The A-Level student said the bottlenose dolphins were ‘jumping off our wake and playing with us’ in an ‘amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience’

‘We were with them for a really long time. They stayed and played with us for about an hour.

‘My friends and I often go jet skiing off Bournemouth beach, and we have never seen anything like this.

‘I think it was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

‘So many people pay so much money to see dolphins, and I am just so grateful that I could spend time with them.

‘I feel so lucky to see them in the wild. It was such a rare occasion.’

Dorset Wildlife Trust says bottlenose dolphins are most frequently seen along the Dorset coast.

A spokesperson said: ‘These dolphins are the biggest bottlenose dolphins in the world – their size helps them cope with the cold Dorset waters.

‘They are very social animals and can often be seen in small groups of up to 15 dolphins.

‘They love to jump out of the water and will happily approach boats, surfing in the waves created by the boat. They feed on fish, often working as a team to hunt.’

Bottlenose dolphins are found across the majority of the planet’s oceans through which some migrate extensively, though others stay local to one area of coast.

Research last year from the University of Plymouth, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the South Coast Bottlenose Consortium suggested that England’s sole resident pod had reduced in number to 48 – under half that of most coastal populations.

There are other pods which live on the coasts of Scotland and Wales

This article by Matthew Cox was first published by The Daily Mail on 14 May 2024. Lead Image: A group of jet skiers got a front row seat to a ‘once in a lifetime’ performance as a pod of playful dolphins spent around an hour leaping out of the water near them.

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