This is the astonishing moment holidaymakers watched wild dolphins put on a show for them just yards away from a Cornish beach.
Sunseekers in Gwithian, near St Ives in Cornwall, were amazed to see three dolphins leaping out of the water close to people swimming.
Tourist Mary-Anne Drabble, 41, quickly took out her mobile phone to snap pictures of the cetaceans ducking and diving last Friday.
Mrs Drabble, of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, said: ‘It was a breathtaking experience – I was actually crying at what I saw.
‘Everyone on the beach was cheering as they jumped out of the water. I think the dolphins were showing off for everyone.’
Dolphins have been seen closer to the British coastline as sea temperatures soared to 21C (70F) over the weekend.
Mrs Drabble said lifeguards eventually managed to encourage the dolphins away from swimmers, with the help of a helicopter.
Impressive: Sunseekers in Gwithian, near St Ives in Cornwall, were amazed to see three dolphins leaping out of the water close to people swimming on Friday
Watching: Tourist Mary-Anne Drabble, 41, quickly took out her mobile phone to snap pictures of the cetaceans ducking and diving beneath the waves
Hot weather: Dolphins have been seen closer to the British coastline as sea temperatures soared to the 21C over the weekend
¿Breathtaking¿: People on the beach in Cornwall were said to have been cheering as the dolphins jumped out of the water
Time to leave: Lifeguards urged people to stay away from the dolphins, before a helicopter was used to encourage them to swim back out into open water
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T GET WITHIN 50 YARDS OF A DOLPHIN… AND HOW DIFFERENT TYPES ARE APPEARING OFF UK
Some 28 species of cetacean have been recorded in UK waters, with 11 of these regularly appearing, according to Government figures.
Dolphins can be viewed from places such as Chanonry Point in the Moray Firth near Inverness, as well as Cardigan Bay in Wales.
They can also be seen around Land’s End in Cornwall from January to April, as well as on the east coast of Scotland between July and September.
It is illegal under British law to intentionally kill or injure a dolphin, or ‘recklessly disturb’ one – for example to cause it distress by chasing it in a boat.
Fishermen with larger vessels are obliged to fit acoustic deterrent devices to deter dolphins from approaching them, and reducing by-catch levels.
They are also advised to reel in their lines if dolphins appear while fishing, before moving away from an area if the cetaceans do not leave first.
Dolphins are powerful animals that can become aggressive towards humans, and it can be harmful for both parties if people attempt feeding.
Two decades ago US officials had to issue guidance on this subject after people were seen in Florida feeding dolphins beer, hot dogs and sweets.
It is recommended that people get no closer than 50 yards to dolphins, because they can feel harassed if you get too close to them.
In addition, dolphins have delicate skin which is very sensitive to human touch and therefore can be at risk of harm from humans.
Warmer sees could be behind a rise for a change in the type of dolphins spotted off the North East, a survey suggested four years ago.
A rise in sightings of common, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins – associated with warmer waters – was reported by the North East Cetacean Project.
Among the cetaceans whose numbers sighted off the UK have increased over the past 30 years are the common dolphin and striped dolphin.