Snorkeller’s seal surprise

The seal in the water with the snorkeler.
The seal in the water with the snorkeler.

A surprised snorkeller has told of the unforgettable moment that a friendly seal played with her in the sea off the Farne Islands.

Fran Evans, from Reading, could not believe her eyes when the fun-loving wild creature stole her glove, flicked it around in the water and then nudged it back to her.

The incredible scenes were captured on camera by Neil Sprigg, a crewman with the Seahouses-based Billy Shiels Farne Island Boats for the last three years.

He was out with the dive party on the morning of Monday, September 29, when the heartwarming events unfolded.

And 21-year-old Fran says it was a day she will never forget, even surpassing the time she swam with turtles in the Caribbean!

“It was incredible really and I am so thankful that it was captured on camera, because I don’t think people would have believed me otherwise,” said Fran, who works in a scuba-diving shop in Reading.

“On that particular day, there were lots of seals in the water. They were being really playful and really friendly, like nibbling at our fins.

“I was swimming back to the boat, because I had been out for about 40 minutes, and this seal came up to me and it had a real fascination with my glove.

“It snatched my glove and was playing around with it for about 30 or 40 seconds before pushing it back to me.

“It really is surprising how friendly they are and how close they come.

“Other people had told me about their experiences with the seals, but that was from people who had been diving. I never expected this would happen to someone who was snorkelling, like I was.”

Fran has been sharing her story and has encouraged people to visit Northumberland.

“More people should come up here,” said Fran, who had never snorkelled in the UK prior to her incredible experience last week. “I will return and I have been recommending it to everyone.”

Neil added: “She said it was the best snorkel she had ever had.”

Watch the video here.