As their name suggests, basking sharks are mostly thought of as gentle giants, lolling on the ocean’s surface as they feed on plankton, their huge mouths wide open.
A recent encounter off the Irish coast, however, was rather more action packed, as one of a group of the huge beasts breached the surface spectacularly.
Vanessa Boehm said she was diving with the Burren Sub Aqua Club, based in County Clare, when they were treated to a close encounter with about a dozen basking sharks.
Video by Boehm shows the slow-moving creatures, until one approaches at speed and leaps from the water.
“I didn’t count exactly how many there were, but there were definitely over a dozen. We were in the water several minutes, when this basking shark breached beside me,” she said. Credit: Vanessa Boehm via Storyful