ONE of the largest pods of Dolphins seen off Bournemouth in recent years entertained people on Saturday - with video

An estimated 15 bottlenose dolphins followed a shoal of fish towards Poole and played in the wake of boats.

John Williams, 34, from Boscombe, saw them off Hengistbury Head while fishing. He said: “There were 10-15 of them – they were eating all the fish I was trying to catch!”

Chris Skone-Roberts, a watersports photographer from Boscombe, saw them near Boscombe Pier at 11.45am. He said: “I have worked with dolphin watchers and using their counting method I would say there were 15 of them.

“You see how many come up and over what time period.

“They were breaking the waves and back-flipping. They were heading towards Bournemouth.

“It was lovely. As soon as they heard ‘Dolphins!’ groups of people were looking out.

“I have lived here since 1976 and I have never seen that many.”

The crew of the Shockwave speedboat at Bournemouth Pier first saw the animals at 11.20am and the dolphins played in their wake until the early afternoon.

Driver Oliver Pittock, 28, from Wimborne, who took the above picture, said: “I would say there were 10-20 of them.

“I’ve been driving boats for 10 years and I have never seen that many.

“You usually see 2-3, once or twice a year.”

Crew member John Millington, 32, from Bournemouth town centre, said: “I saw a baby swimming in between the adults. “One of them came out of the water and twisted in the air.”

From the West Cliff you could see several dolphins breaking the waves at a time, while seagulls hovered overhead to pick up scraps of fish.

A spokesman for Durlston Country Park, which has a marine wildlife project, said it had received reports of 8-12 dolphins.

“We have had reports of that many a number of times over the past five years,” said the spokesman.

“Ten of fifteen years ago we wouldn’t have seen numbers like that.

“It’s possible they are part of the group based in Cornwall.”