Tyne & Wear

Dolphins harassed in River Tyne prompt police warning

Dolphins filmed off the north-east of England coast Image copyright Martin Kitching
Image caption Sea Watch Foundation monitors dolphins coming to the north-east of England coast

Water scooter riders have been filmed "harassing" dolphins.

Police are investigating after reports of the mammals being tormented in the River Tyne between North and South Shields.

Andrea Blunt was filming the dolphins and could see the riders coming, but "couldn't do anything about it".

"They went straight over the top of where the last dolphin had breached the water, which was quite distressing to see," she said.

"I don't know what the jet skiers could see but, to us, they were very visible."

Image copyright Andrea Blunt
Image caption Water scooters were filmed riding over the point where a dolphin had just dipped under the water

Martin Kitching, the regional co-ordinator for the Sea Watch Foundation, which tracks dolphins, said he was "disturbed, concerned, angry that anybody would actually be that reckless when they know there are dolphins in the river".

Northumbria Police has warned river users to be "vigilant and respectful" around marine life.

"It is illegal to harass, feed, chase and touch marine mammals in the wild," acting marine Sgt Paul Spedding said.

"Anyone found to be in breach of any laws will be prosecuted."

Image caption Andrea Blunt, who filmed what happened, said she felt "helpless"

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