THE WEATHER this summer may not have lived up to our expectations, but our stunning marine wildlife certainly provided some sights to remember for Sussex seafarers.

Dolphins, seals and even a whale have been seen off the county’s coast so far this year.

The incredible animals had spotters scrambling for their phones and cameras to capture the moment, with many submitting their footage to Sussex Dolphin Project - an organisation which aims to “inspire and engage the local community to learn about the incredible marine wildlife off the Sussex coast”.

And in recent weeks, the organisation has recorded a sharp increase in Bottlenose dolphin sightings.

Thea Taylor, lead at the Sussex Dolphin Project, said the rise in sightings could be due to fact the water is warmer close to the shore at this time of year.

She said: “We have been treated to some wonderful sightings over the last week around Brighton and Hove beaches, especially around the piers.

“We expect to see dolphins closer to shore at this time of year as the water warms and their prey species move in.

“The dolphins follow their prey and as a result we get the perfect opportunity to see them from land.

“We saw some amazing footage of dolphins hunting very close to Hove beach on Thursday, and we expect them to remain closer to shore during September.

“So please keep your eyes peeled and report any sightings to us at Sussex Dolphin Project.”

Maryna Ivani, who was on a birthday kayak trip on Tuesday, was joined by two dolphins just off the West Pier.

The playful pair could be seen leaping from the water and putting on truly spectacular display for the onlookers.

Footage taken by Kai Richens, who was onboard the lifeguard patrol boat, shows the same dolphins making their way from the West Pier to Brighton Palace Pier.

On Thursday morning, Florence Sava spotted two dolphins in very close to the shore on Hove seafront.

Just a few hours later, a pod of dolphins joined the lifeguard team during their training session by the West Pier.

Swimmers from the Brighton Swimming Club were also joined by two dolphins near the pier that same morning.

Lynette Slight, a member of the club from near Elm Grove, said she had never seen dolphins in Brighton before and described it as a “magical morning”.

The Dolphin Project is offering boat trips to people in Brighton to provide them with the opportunity to learn about, and hopefully see, some of the amazing marine wildlife that lives on the Sussex coast.

The cruises also offer guests a “unique view” of Brighton’s seafront as the sun sets from behind the West Pier and the i360.

All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to Sussex Dolphin Project.

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