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Seal joins Northumberland surfers in the waves

image copyrightMatthew Stanley
image captionMatt Stanley and Andrew Flounders could not believe their eyes

A young seal joined two surfers for a session in the waves off the north-east coast of England.

Matt Stanley and Andrew Flounders were surfing off Amble in Northumberland when the seal swam up and got on board, even chasing them as they surfed.

The seal found balancing a bit of a problem, said Mr Stanley who was with the seal for nearly an hour.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said assistant manager Mr Stanley, 23.

image copyrightMatthew Stanley
image captionThe seal followed the surfers on the white water as they rode their boards
image copyrightMatthew Stanley
image captionMatthew Stanley said he had never encountered a seal so close
image copyrightMatthew Stanley
image captionThe seal, which played with the surfers for nearly an hour, found balancing on the boards a struggle

The surfer said: "We had been in for about 45 minutes when the seal came along.

"I've seen them there before but they are usually far away.

"This one nudged Andrew's foot in the water and started getting curious."

The seal climbed on their boards but struggled to stay on for long.

'Don't touch'

"It kept sliding off, but every time you caught a wave it would surf in on the white water," said Mr Stanley.

"I admit we lost interest in the surfing for a bit.

"I've never seen a seal that close up, never mind one sitting on board.

"When we left it followed us, but the waves were not too bad so we went back in."

A spokesman for the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek said: "We have surfboards here which the seals like to lie on.

"They can be very friendly so something like this can happen even in the wild, but we would still advise people not to touch them."

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