Kayakers give friendly seal a belly rub off Isle of Man coast

This heart-warming footage shows the moment a curious seal plays with three kayakers off the Isle of Man coast.

Dave Rousseau, Ian Judd and Ava Judd, 10, were paddling to Cow Harbour on the north side of the Calf of Man on Sunday morning when the friendly seal popped up to say 'hello'.

The animal stayed with them for around an hour, rolling onto its back, nibbling their paddles and letting them stroke its belly and face.

The trio, who are from Peel, were delighted with the close encounter, which took place on one of the hottest days of 2022 so far.

They recorded the precious moment on their phone, with Ian commenting: "I have to say we have never experienced stroking a seal’s belly and face before."

The curious seal stayed with the kayakers for almost an hour. Credit: Ian Judd

People visiting the island's coastline are reminded by Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) not to disturb resting seals at the water's edge.

For more advice, check out the Government’s Isle of Man Coastal Code which recommends a distance of 50m (nearly the length of four double decker buses); or MWT’s seal code of conduct.

Here are some good tips from the Outdoor Swimming Society on how to react if a seal approaches you in the ocean.