WATCH: Amazing footage of scuba divers’ encounter with basking sharks in Mayo
Wow, what a spectacular sight off the coast of Mayo.
The sight of basking sharks off the west coast of Ireland has become an increasingly common one in recent years and at the weekend, sub-aqua divers from UCD captured the most impressive footage of them we’ve seen to date.
On Sunday, June 4, divers from the UCD Sub-Aqua club were exploring the waters around the Stags of Broadhaven, a group of jagged rocky islands at Broadhaven Bay, Erris, Co. Mayo.
Divers Gavin Ó Briain and Davy Lynn were in the water at a depth of 20 metres and about to finish up their dive, when they spotted the silhouette of a shark in the distance.
Experienced divers that they are, the lads were able to identify the significantly-sized creatures by other features of their appearance.
When the sharks drew near and began to circle them, Gavin and Davy were able to capture some truly incredible footage.
Describing his close encounter, Gavin Ó Briain said: “It was towards the end of the dive, we were beginning to come up from 25 metres. At 20 metres I was facing Davy and saw the head of a basking shark arrive behind him. I started to point at it so Davy would know to turn around.
“There was two of them, they did a couple of loops around us and stayed for a good two minutes. We then went up to do our safety stop and, of course, boast about how good our dive was!
“It was without a doubt the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen underwater, and probably in my life."
UCD Sub-Aqua club captain Mehdi Enterzary added: “I’m delighted the divers got to swim with basking sharks. It can be a bit of shock when an animal as big as a basking shark comes out of the blue but our divers were very composed and even got some great footage.
“For me, it really highlights the high level of training these divers have gotten at UCD Sub-Aqua club and that is equally satisfying.”