WATER sports enthusiast Brad Atwill had quite a shock when he fell from his Jet Ski and spotted a fin in the water off the coast of Swanage on Sunday.
But the Poole electrician breathed more than a sigh of relief when he realised the fin belonged to a dolphin.
Brad, 20, and two friends who were visiting from London, took to the waters at Poole Harbour around 10.30am on Sunday.
The trio had planned a day on the water travelling from Poole to Durdle Door and back again.
However an hour into their adventure they were joined by nearly a dozen more travelling companions near Durlston Head, Swanage.
A small pod of bottlenose dolphins starting racing alongside the Jet Skis giving the youngsters an experience they will never forget.
“The conditions were awful on the water on Sunday and at one point I fell off my Jet Ski,” said Brad, who lives in Poole.
“Once in the water I spotted this fin coming towards me and started to panic.
“I jumped out of the water and frantically started searching for the animal the fin belonged to.
“It was then I saw not one dolphin but 10 swimming alongside us. It was absolutely amazing.”
Bottlenose dolphins are a common sight in the region but their appearance still caught the trio by surprise.
“I have swum with dolphins in Mexico and Florida before but this was entirely different,” added Brad, who takes to the water every weekend on his Jet Ski.
“Seeing them in their own environment is just amazing. We were a bit worried at first that we were scaring them so we would stop the engines to let them swim off.
“But they would stop as well continuing the game of chasing us.
“We were out on the water with them for about two hours before we lost sight of them. It was incredible and something I’ll never forget.”
Fortunately for Brad he had his trusty GoPro with him and was able to shoot some footage from his Jet Ski as the dolphins made their way alongside it.
“It was my friends’ first time out on these waters and they got to race dolphins. Unsurprisingly they are already asking me when they can come back for another visit,” said Brad.