Stunned kayakers come face-to-face with basking shark off Irish coast

Louise Barker was paddling off the west coast of Cork with her friend Becky Hatchett when the ‘surreal’ encounter happened on Monday.

The 33-year-old managed to capture the eight-metre long basking shark just as they came face-to-face with it.

Footage shows the shark swimming towards her and bumping the kayak with its fin just a matter of inches from where she’s sitting inside the watercraft.

After swimming right underneath her, the shark continues to circle around the pair in the water.

Ms Barker shared the video on Twitter and wrote: ‘Had a little bump from a curious basking shark off the west Cork coast yesterday. 

‘What a stunning creature.’

It was the first kayaking trip of the year for the two friends and Ms Barker, a publicist and music manager, admitted she cannot believe what happened. 

She said: ‘It was a pretty surreal experience having this curious guy pop up next to us. Such a gentle giant.

‘We had perfect weather conditions, so we headed out in Becky’s double kayak, and it did not disappoint.

‘We had heard about recent basking shark sightings along the coast and we were hoping to catch a glimpse of a fin.

‘I wasn’t expecting to come nose-to-nose with one.’

Source of data and images: metro

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