Seal of approval! Extraordinary moment wildlife filmmaker is surrounded by playful seals who swam alongside her for an hour in the sea off Cornwall

  • Ellen Husain swam with the seals off the coast of Falmouth, Cornwall, this week
  • The animals were friendly and became interested in her flippers as she swam
  • She used her action camera to see the animals at first so they didn’t get scared 

A marine biologist has filmed this amazing moment she swims about with two seals at a secluded beach. 

Ellen Husain was in the water for over an hour with the seals near Falmouth on the south coast of Cornwall earlier this week.

In her footage, as she dives a seal approaches and becomes very interested in her flippers before swimming off.   

A seal approaches and becomes very interested in her flippers before swimming off

Ellen Husain, a marine biologist, was in the water for over an hour with the seals near Falmouth on the south coast of Cornwall earlier this week

The seals seem particularly interested in the diver’s flippers and comes back a second time to have a look

The seal then comes back a second time to have a look.  

A second animal soon joins, and the curious creatures seem very at ease as they swim around the wildlife filmmaker.  

After she had been in the water for a while the seals became super-friendly and just kept coming back over to her. 

Ms Husain has worked on high profile award-winning series, including series narrated by David Attenborough, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Stephen Fry. 

She grew up in Cornwall and learned to dive there, and returns whenever she can.

She said: ‘Its always wonderful to see seals, whether it’s from the beach or underwater. 

 ‘As a filmmaker, I’ve dived with whale sharks in Belize, humpbacks in Hawaii, and tiger sharks in the South Pacific, but this was totally up there – the seals came over while I was snorkelling, and really just seemed to want to hang out and play.’ 

‘It was truly magical. I don’t believe that people should chase after or impose themselves on marine life, but its different when they actively seek an interaction with you – and very, very, special.’

The curious creatures seem very at ease as they swim around the wildlife filmmaker

The marine biologist described the animals as ‘charming’ and ‘almost dog-like in their curiosity and playfulness’

She described the animals as ‘charming’ and ‘almost dog-like in their curiosity and playfulness’. 

She explained that many animals find a direct approach very intimidating, so she used her action camera to view where they were underwater and swam close by.   

Ellen said: ‘I didn’t want to leave – and the seals didn’t seem to want me to either – they kept following after me, and swimming around me whenever I started to head off.  

She used her action camera to view where they were underwater and swam close by so she didn’t scare them off 

The wildlife photographer said that the interactions with the seals will stay with her forever

‘As I swam to the shallows they came with me, and when I turned to them to say my final goodbyes and they just hunkered down on the bottom in about a meter of water and looked at me. 

‘I actually felt bad leaving! I felt like I was breaking up the party, but I was thinking ‘its okay for you guys – you’ve got a massive layer of blubber on!’  

The filmmaker should be abroad right now, but lockdown has put a lot of TV projects on hold.

She said the memory of her interactions with the seals will stay with her forever, adding: ‘It just shows how much amazing sea life we have in the UK, and its so often overlooked.’ 

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