1. ITV Report

Delight as family get close up view of pod of dolphins while sailing

A family from East Sussex had a day to remember when they got up close to a pod of dolphins.

Alana Cowell was with her husband and other family members when they were sailing by Beachy Head near Eastbourne.

They were taken aback when the dolphins swam alongside them during their trip yesterday.

Alana told ITV News Meridian: "We were not far from Beachy Head and in the distance we saw a swirl of seagulls on closer looking we noticed a pod of dolphins.

"We continued sailing and decided to put up the music we were playing which was Caribbean.

Splashing around is fun for this pod of dolphins Credit: Alana Cowell

"The dolphins soon surrounded our yacht. It seems there were about 15 or so.

"One was a baby and they were leaping out at the side of the boat, riding the bow waves.

"Plus at one point we had six all on the starboard side of the vessel and they were keeping up with the boat and rolling onto their backs and looking sideways up at us.

"My husband stayed at the helm but my brother and sister in law came up to the bow with me .

I was extremely excited and continued to whoop.

"They responded to the excitement and music.

A day to remember for Alana Cowell and her family Credit: Alana Cowell

"They were rolling on theirs backs and on their sides and I could see their eyes watching me.

"I was waving and my family were crossing from side to side of the bow as so many were leaping everywhere the excitement was exhilarating.

Author Alana, who has written a book called To Sea or not to Sea, added: "I still feel so excited today, it really was the most superb experience ever.

"The dolphins seemed to be having a fantastic time too.

"At the end of the sail it was great as it was rather emotional too and I hugged my brother and sister in law. They had never seen dolphins before."