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Thursday 28 August 2014

Anglers catch glimpse of killer whales

Greg Harkin

Published 20/06/2013 | 05:00

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One of the orcas spotted off the Donegal coast by fishermen John and Pat Cunningham
One of the orcas spotted off the Donegal coast by fishermen John and Pat Cunningham
An orca in the wild

BROTHERS fishing off the north-west coast got more than they bargained for when two killer whales appeared beside them.

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Sea anglers John and Pat Cunningham were looking for something a lot smaller – pollock. But instead they were faced by the two orcas, one more than 20ft long.

"We had come across dolphins earlier... and they were jumping around our boat," said John (50).

"But then there was a splash, which I knew straight away wasn't a dolphin. Then the two killer whales rose from the water."

The brothers were fishing from their 23ft rowing boat just half a mile off the coast from Glencolmcille, south-west Donegal.

"I've only ever seen them in the North Sea when I was commercial fishing up there," said John.

"We saw basking sharks earlier in the week and, of course, the dolphins, but I've never seen an orca around here before. It was a beautiful sight.""

Padraig Whooley, from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, said the pair of whales could be the same pair spotted in recent weeks off the Cork and Kerry coasts.

"The sightings could be connected," he said.

Irish Independent

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