Cheeky dolphins perform for Whitburn family at South Shields Pier

Five dolphins gave a spectacular free show to a family on a boating trip beside South Shields Pier.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 14th October 2019, 10:10 am

Anthony Gray, from Whitburn, was in the boat with sons Kieran, 10 and Lewis, four, and father-in-law Wayne Hodgson, who owns the boat, at around noon on Saturday.

Anthony, who spotted the first of the pod, said: “I said to the others, ‘I think I’ve just seen a dolphin.’ They didn’t believe me at first.”

But soon after that the other four appeared too, and began to live up to the reputation that dolphins have for showing off. Luckily Anthony, 28, managed to film them on his phone.

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A dolphin enjoys the autumn sunshine on the River Tyne.

Anthony, a joiner, continued: “Five of them all came jumping round the boat and were really near. It was crazy.

“I used to go out fishing every Sunday, but I’ve never seen dolphins before. I suppose we were just in the right place at the right time.”

Not every member of the Gray family was quite so delighted with the dolphin show. Anthony’s wife Gemma decided at the last minute not to join the trip and missed the whole thing.

Anthony said: “She decided not to go. The car came to pick us up but she said she would give it a miss and go round to her mam’s instead. She was devastated.

Kieran Gray, 10 and brother Lewis, four, (the pirate) were delighted to see five dolphins from their boat near South Shields Pier.

“They were coming out of the water and banging their heads against each other. I told my father-in-law to speed up the boat and they were jumping over the waves behind.

“They were there for about half-an-hour before they left the piers. People go on holiday and pay a fortune to see dolphins, but not in the wild. I don’t think I’ll ever see them again.”

Kieran was equally delighted. He said: “It was quite exciting. They were jumping out of the water all at once. One came out then the other four followed.”

The Whitburn Village Primary pupil was looking forward to telling his friends at school, as was younger brother Lewis.

Although it is unusual to stumble across dolphins in the wild, pods have been spotted near South Shields on several occasions this year.