A man has told of the moment around 20 dolphins swam around his boat

The pod of bottlenose dolphins swam alongside the boat, which was going at 12 knots (13.8mph), for around ten minutes on Monday morning.

Kurt Lander, 53, captured the footage around off the coast of Brighton while taking customers out for a fishing trip with his business Yellowfin Charter Brighton.

Kurt, from Lewes, said: “We were drifting over a sunken ship, dolphins hunt the fish that live in the wreck. We went to move on as they eat and scare the fish off.

The Argus: A still image from the boat off the coast of BrightonA still image from the boat off the coast of Brighton (Image: Kurt Lander)

“We were moving to another wreck, they decided to follow us. We put the boat on auto pilot and filmed them alongside us.

“Some of them were so close, fewer than ten inches from the boat. They just looked happy and were jumping out of the water. I have been doing this for 18 years and seen hundreds of dolphins.

"To me, they appear to get enjoyment and pleasure out of it. Obviously I don’t know how they feel.

The Argus: The dolphins captured on video by Kurt LanderThe dolphins captured on video by Kurt Lander (Image: Kurt Lander)

“I think the boat makes it easier for the dolphins swim too. The boat is a catamaran so they were swimming underneath the boat too.

“The customers enjoy it, they said it makes the day. Although we go out there to catch fish, it’s nice to see the dolphins. Seeing a wild animal in its natural environment is a wonderful experience.”

Thea Taylor, Sussex Dolphin Project Head, comments: "This is a beautiful piece of footage from Kurt who has always been very good at sharing any dolphin interactions with us at Sussex Dolphin Project, which we greatly appreciate.

“The video shows a pod of bottlenose dolphins bow riding in front of Kurt's boat. This is a common practice where dolphins use the force of the water pushed in front of the vessel to hitch a ride.

We believe the dolphins do this simply because they enjoy it and they have been known to bow ride for significant periods of time.

“Kurt also mentioned that the dolphins were potentially hunting around the wrecks where he was fishing.

"Again, this makes sense as wrecks attract fish and the fish in turn attract the dolphins."