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Fin-tastic… rare sighting of humpback whale off Britain

PICTURE: APEX

AN ENDANGERED humpback whale has been spotted off the coast of Cornwall.

The whale swam under a tour boat while feeding on sandeels off Penzance.

It was also spotted by lone kayaker Rupert Kirkwood who feared it would ‘land right on top of my kayak’.

Marine Discovery Penzance co-owner Hannah Jones noticed a swell in the water before it came to the surface eight miles off the coast of Penzance on Saturday.

PICTURE: APEX

‘We had already spotted seals, blue fin tuna, harbour porpoises and minke whales, so it had been a really successful trip. But it was such a clear day and I noticed a change in the water,’ she said.

‘So we motored over slowly and we saw the whale feeding. The mood on the boat was just speechless awe.’ It is estimated there are between 10,000 and 15,000 humpback whales.

Some travel through UK waters on their way to North America in the summer. They have been seen off Scotland but visits are rare.

In 15 years, Ms Jones has only spotted four. ‘The fact we are seeing more could be proof that conservation efforts have worked,’ she added.