Surfer Gets Up Close With Basking Sharks Off Ireland's West Coast

An experienced surfer who encountered a school of basking sharks off Ireland’s Atlantic coast on May 2 has described the moment as “awesome” and said he felt “privileged.”

Tom Gillespie of Dublin told Storyful that he had encountered all sorts of ocean life over his years of surfing, but never a group of this many basking sharks at once, estimating there were between 20 and 30 in the Lahinch-Miltown Malbay area in County Clare.

“It was an absolutely awesome experience that we will never forget and I feel very privileged to be living in the area at the moment,” Gillespie said. “Hopefully, it’s something that will connect positively with people given the current situation.” Credit: IG/@tom__gillespie via Storyful