WATCH: Diver gets up close and personal with a seal off the Farne Islands

A scuba diver got some fantastic footage when a grey seal tried to chew his camera during a trip to the Farne Islands.

Craig Ward was taking pictures of a group of seals when one of them swam up to his camera lens and started chewing it.

Craig Ward's up close and personal picture of a grey seal, which won national recognition in a photo competition.

Craig Ward's up close and personal picture of a grey seal, which won national recognition in a photo competition.

He kept the camera rolling and captured some amazing up close and personal shots.

Now one of the photos Craig took during the diving trip has been highly commended in the British Sub-Aqua Club’s (BSAC) nationwide Great British Diving photo competition.

He said: "We had surfaced and we were waiting for the boat which you can see in the photo to come and pick us up.

"About eight seals started circling us and I started taking some photos. One swam right up a lobster line and started chewing on the camera lens. It was a fantastic moment."

Craig underwater.

Craig underwater.

Craig, 44, of Stalybridge in Tameside, first got into diving at the age of 18, but and then re-ignited his interest in 2002 when he joined BSAC and eventually helped establish Stockport-based O2 Sub-Aqua Club in 2004.

He said: "We've got some great diving in the UK. The competition was a great way to showcase the best of it.

"We’ve got excellent wildlife and excellent wrecks and as a British diver I absolutely love it. A lot of people are surprised when they first start, it really opens their eyes when they get into open water and realise how much is down there. I would encourage anyone who is interested to get involved via their local BSAC club.

BSAC chief executive Mary Tetley said: “The BSAC Great British Diving photo competition was launched to boost the presence of British divers on social media and to show the world just how great British diving really is.

Craig Ward in his diving gear.

Craig Ward in his diving gear.

"We had lots of wonderful entries from all over the UK, from divers with huge post-dive smiles, to fantastic wrecks, to many seal and examples of marine life.

"Craig’s photo is really fun and truly shows the spirit of Great British diving and we are so pleased he entered – it’s a great candid capture."

The competition was run on-line via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GreatBritishDiving, between July 15 and October 7.

There were 343 photos entered and more than 2,300 people voted for the picture they thought best encapsulated the spirit of British diving, in two categories topside and underwater.

For more information about BSAC and clubs around the UK, visit or follow the organisation on Facebook or Twitter @BSACDIVERS