An avid drone pilot and wildlife enthusiast has captured mesmerising footage of a huge humpback whale swimming in British waters off the north of England. Gareth Tibbs caught rare footage of the whale swimming in waters off the shore of St Mary’s Island, near Whitley Bay after he was informed by a wildlife WhatsApp group that there had been recent whale sightings in the area.
The 43-year-old said: "Whilst at home I received a Whatsapp via our wildlife group that there was a whale spotted a few hundred metres away. I grabbed my drone and headed to the point and could see it immediately.
“It was about 300 metres from the shore. I called Air Traffic Control to get approval to fly and within a few minutes I was hovering 50 metres over the whale capturing the images.”
It was later discovered that it was the same Whale Gareth had spotted near St. Mary’s Island two winters ago.
"It was later identified from its markings that it was ‘Pi’ the Humpback who spent about 10 weeks around the islands between December 2020 and 2021. It is amazing to see Pi back again," he said.
The rare sighting was made just 300 meters from the shore of St Mary’s island, where humpback whale sightings have been increasing.