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Incredible footage of playful dolphins swimming alongside boat off Antrim coast

This is the incredible footage showing a playful pod of dolphins swimming off the Antrim coast.

The six-minute video - filmed by the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force - shows a host of the animals playing alongside the team's boat on Saturday, just south of Torr Head.

According to the team, a handful of young calves are also part of the pod - showing off alongside their mothers.

On their Facebook page the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force said:

"Check out this incredible footage of us getting up close and personal with a pod of dolphins yesterday off the Antrim Coast just south of Torr Head.

"A stunning experience and an absolute privilege to witness! Keep an eye out for the mums with calves who just wanted to play and show off in our bow wave! What a treat!"

Earlier this month, a Queen's University's Marine lab team also captured footage of a school of dolphins playing in Strangford Lough, Co Down.

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The team were en route to sampling the seaweed farm beside the Minesto sea kite trial site when they caught site of the dolphins.

Afterwards they discovered that the animals were short beaked common dolphins - the first confirmed record of the species in Strangford Lough and one of only a handful of sightings on the Co Down coast.

The Marine Task Force would like to remind everyone that marine mammals such as dolphins and porpoises are highly protected species and to be respectful and careful not to disturb them if you happen to encounter them in the wild.

If you want to learn more on how to approach these beautiful animals we recommend considering a UK WiSe course. You can find more information here: http://www.wisescheme.org/

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