AN ANIMAL charity has issued a warning after reports of a seal being “chased” by jet skis.

Brighton Dolphin Project was alerted to reports of four people on jet skis “circling and chasing a seal” near Peacehaven beach on Sunday morning.

However, one jet ski rider responded to the allegations saying that he and his friends had been riding in the area but had not chased a seal.

He claimed they had seen someone waving at the top of the cliffs and had gone to investigate.

The project posted a message on Facebook which stated: “Four people on jet skis have been seen circling and chasing a seal near Peacehaven beach this morning between 10.30 and 11am.

“Apparently, one rider was seen trying to swim up to the seal.

“Please give our marine life space, do not chase or stress them. We love to hear about your sightings, but please be respectful.

“Seals are wild animals and will defend themselves if they feel threatened.”

The Facebook post prompted a response from one man who had been out with “three other responsible skiers” at the time.

He said: “We were on our way to Newhaven when a person was seen waving their arm about on top of the cliff.

“We went to see if something was wrong and we might be able to help with.

“At this point, the lead skier in our group saw the seal and we all came to a stop in a group with the seal cliffside, it didn’t panic, it watched us then submerged and came up Brighton side of us over 40 metres away.

“There was no chasing of this seal.

“We as a group started back on our way after ten minutes at a sensible pace.”

Brighton Dolphin Project, a charity project of the World Cetacean Alliance, has now issued guidelines, offering advice to boats and jet skis about interacting with marine mammals.

Andrew Scoon, of Brighton Dolphin Project, said: “We urge anyone that comes into contact with marine mammals to respect their space and enjoy the encounter from a distance.

“There have been multiple reports from across the country of people getting too close to seals, some of which have resulted in injuries.

“We are lucky to have six species of marine mammal in Sussex and want interactions to be positive and respectful so we can see them continue in the future.”

The guidelines instruct skiers to slow down, be quiet and give the marine life space.

The news comes after the organisation has enjoyed an incredible summer of sea-life sightings.

Dolphins, seals and a seahorse were all spotted off the Sussex coast.