A DOG walker who claims he and his pet were repeatedly “dive-bombed” by an aggressive seagull on Bournemouth beach is warning families and pet owners to be on their guard.

Jasen De-Botte, 37, and nine-month-old George, a Staffordshire American bull dog cross, were walking from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier last Friday morning when the rogue bird struck.

The unemployed labourer from Northcote Road told the Daily Echo: “A fairly large seagull started swooping down on George; at first it was quite amusing because he thought it was a game.

“But, after about 20 minutes, the novelty wore off.

“Unfortunately the gull was determined to carry on and by the time we got to Boscombe Pier we must have had at least 50 close encounters.

“The bird got so close to my face I could feel the rush of wind from its wings as it swooped down. Luckily I was wearing a hat but I was worried the bird would peck out George’s eyes.”

Jasen added: “Eventually I managed to scare the bird off by throwing stones.

“None of us were injured but I am now worried that smaller dogs, or even children, could be the next victim of this very feisty bird. I’ve seen seagulls attacking people in Spain which was very frightening.”

RSPB spokeswoman Sophie McCallum said: “At this time of year gulls have been nesting and are protective of their young.

“That is why they swoop if they feel threatened by people or animals.

“It is very rare for gulls to injure anyone; it is purely a defensive act.”

But a concerned cyclist, who often takes her two children to the beach, said: “Some of the gulls around Bournemouth this year are the size of small dogs.

“They are bigger and noisier than usual. I think they have moved here from the West Country where they will snatch pasties out of your hand.

“People leaving litter on the beach don’t help.”

A Bournemouth council spokesman said: “We have not received any reports of seagull attacks, but would advise people not to feed them.”