INCREDIBLE photographs and video show the moment a playful seal hitched a ride with a paddleboarder. 

John Mitchell, 57, was paddling down the River Arun when he was joined by the friendly mammal who climbed on to his board.

He took pictures and video of his new friend, believed to be the famous Littlehampton Harbour Seal, Gavin. 

The Argus:

Gavin spent almost an hour with John who described it as an “unbelievable experience”.

He said: “I was very surprised when he popped up out of the water and clambered on the board.

“It was amazing. It was an unbelievable experience to see such a beautiful animal close up.”

The Argus:

The Argus:

Gavin is often spotted in the harbour and several miles up the river, he is known to be incredibly friendly with humans and even has his own Facebook page dedicated to his antics.

John, who lives in Hove, said it was the first time he had seen a seal while out on his paddleboard.

He added: “He popped up beside my board and then spent nearly an hour messing about, hopping on and off.

“He is very playful and sociable, such a lovely animal.”

The Argus:

It’s not the first time Gavin has played with members of the pubic - just last month, he greeted a group of paddleboarders who were visiting Sussex.