A GROUP of amateur snorkelers got up close and personal with some gigantic jellyfish in Boscombe.

Property developer Martin Frith was kayaking between the piers at Bournemouth and Boscombe on Tuesday afternoon when he saw the exotic looking creatures near the surface of the water.

Martin and friends David O’Callaghan and Paul Manton were enjoying a leisurely day off in the sunshine when they decided to jump into the water to take a closer look.

He said they saw between 10 and 15 of various sizes and estimated the largest, which appears to be a Rhizostoma pulmo – more commonly known as a barrel jellyfish, to be bet- ween 4ft and 5ft in diameter.

“We were just out kayaking and wanted to do a bit of snorkelling,” he added. “Then we saw these two great big white things.

“They are such elegant creatures. I made sure I kept my hand away from the tentacles but did put my hand on its head.

“Luckily I had my camera with me and we were each able to have our pictures taken with them.”

The latest sightings come a week after the Daily Echo reported scores of jellyfish had been washed up on beaches throughout Dorset.

Residents from across the county have spotted the marine creatures in areas such as Sandbanks, Hengistbury Head and Studland.

The barrel jellyfish is the largest found in British waters and sightings typically become more frequent as the weather gets warmer.