Irish Air Corps capture spectacular footage of fin whale breaching

Thursday 31 July 2014 19.38
Corporal Declan Parke captured this images of the breaching mammal while on an inspection pass of a tuna fishing vessel
Corporal Declan Parke captured this images of the breaching mammal while on an inspection pass of a tuna fishing vessel

One of the most remarkable spectacles in nature has been captured on camera by the Irish Air Corps.

Two breaching fin whales - the world's second largest animal - were filmed by Corporal Aidan Murphy yesterday.

The "jaw-dropping" footage was taken while Cpl Murphy was on a routine maritime patrol about 150 miles west of Mizen Head.

Corporal Declan Parke also captured still images of the breaching mammal while on an inspection pass of a tuna fishing vessel.

One of the whales can be clearly seen leaping from the water three times, in what's described as "majestic missile-like form".

The fin whale is the most commonly observed large baleen whale in Irish waters, where they can reach about 21m in length.

The mammals can also reach weights of up to 80,000kg.