Fabulous footage as surfers swim with 20 sharks off Irish coast

Surfers swim with basking sharks off Co Claire, Ireland

Surfers have filmed the moment they came face to face with about 20 huge basking sharks off the coast of Co Clare in Ireland.

Ray O’Foghlu was surfing with friends when they chanced upon the magnificent creatures feeding just offshore at Milton Paraic. Thankfully, conditions were ideal with clear water, so Ray’s surfing buddy Tom Gillespie was able to capture it on his gopro camera.

Surfers swim with basking sharks off Co Claire, Ireland

Ray posted the video of Twitter, saying: “It was completely surreal. We were mostly stationary and they’d just cruise past, mouths agape.

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Tom also posted the video on Instagram: He told Breaking News: “We were aware of some recent sightings in the area and the bay is within 2kms of where we all live so we got up early on and went out on our boards.

“And there they were. We reckon there could have been up to 20 or more of them about 200-metres off shore over the space of about a kilometre.

“They were quite slow and peaceful, and they just came towards us and cruised past. We just tried to make sure we didn’t look like plankton.

“They were all between five and eight metres long. We even saw one breaching.

“We just sat or lay there and acted calmly, we were very careful not to touch them, and tried not to disturb them.”

The surfers, of course, were in no danger as the basking sharks only eat plankton and are completely harmless.

The video went viral on social media, sparking comments from across the world, many from Irish people living abroad who suddenly felt homesick for Ireland.

Shane, originally from Ireland and now living in England, tweeted: “You’ve just made my day thank you. I’m 32 years living in London made me more homesick in that single vid- memories of being 8/9 and first seeing Basking sharks off the Aran Islands way, way back – such stunning creatures – you were incredibly fortunate – big thanks for sharing.”

John Mulcahy said: “Fantastic – great to know they are still about – remember picnicking in 70’s with family as a kid on cliffs on Aran looking down on what looked like shoals of them – great grandfather hunted them from a currach.”

The chance encounter with the sharks was important enough to attract the attention of the Irish Basking Shark Project, which asked Ray to supply more information. They tweeted.

“What incredible footage! Make sure you submit your sighting to us at https://baskingshark.ie/report-a-sighting … ! so we can add it to our database and share it on our social media (with credit of course).”

Video – kayakers surrounded by basking sharks off the Irish coast

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