Killer whale and large shark both sighted off Devon coast
They have been spotted off Torquay and Plymouth Sound
The first ever sighting of an orca off Plymouth Sound, earlier this month, has been swiftly followed by another off Torquay.
Staff at the NMA were excited to see Eileen Wright's footage of a possible Orca in Plymouth Sound. Orcas can be found in the British Isles but not in any great numbers. In theory, they can be found in our waters but one venturing into Plymouth Sound would be quite a surprise! pic.twitter.com/QfMwuDjnVQ
— National Marine Aquarium (@NMAPlymouth) June 20, 2018
A local sea safari operator watched the large predator, which can grow up to 30 feet in length, breach the surface of the water in a rare event.
At 9am on Wednesday June 20, around a mile off the Devonshire coastline, Robert Hughes of Devon Sea Safaris believes to have spotted an orca, having previously identified them on a trip to Vancouver.
A large thresher shark was also seen jumping clear of the water's surface.
"JAWS dropping" views of a massive 350 lb Thresher Shark seen breaching in Lyme Bay recently on a @naturetrektours wildlife cruise. Next trip 14th July. Contact @David @daveshutebirder for details. Data sent to @MARINElife_UK pic.twitter.com/XK734evSGd
— Tom Brereton (@tom_m_brereton) June 18, 2018
The sighting took place in Lyme Bay which goes between Dorset and East Devon.
great photo of a #thresher #shark breeching at #berryhead last week. Our 2hr wildlife trips head to berry head. Book online at https://t.co/m5q4Hkfnfd for your marine adventure. (Photo credit George and Lesley Carr - posted to https://t.co/M1kAGpfZag) pic.twitter.com/1bbkholFIZ
— Devon Sea Safari (@Devonseasafari) June 18, 2018
Plymouth Sound's first orca sighting was made by a local family who were out kayaking on June 3, when they noticed a large marine animal.
Neil Wright told Devon Live: "It was much larger than anything I had seen on previous trips out around the Sound, probably at least twice the length of the two-metre grey seals.
"The height of the dorsal fin is what really stood out but sadly the encounter was over almost before we have chance to really think about what we might have just witnessed.
"On first viewing the footage my mind did jump to it possibly being an orca. These are amazing marine predators. In theory, they can be found in our waters but one venturing into Plymouth Sound would be quite a surprise.
"We circulated the footage with some knowledgeable experienced cetacean experts who all leaned towards this being an orca.
"We cannot be 100% certain without more definitive footage, especially of the characteristic white markings."
Featured image: An Orca whale is seen off St Heliers Bay (Credit: Sandra Mu)