A group of kayakers had the shock of their lives when an open-mouthed shark came within reaching distance of them off the coast off the Isle of Man.

Jennifer Kneale, 37, was just finishing up her day at 7th Wave, a sailing school, when she was informed of a shark in Port Erin Bay.

Instead of heading home, inquisitive Jen and her team of sailing instructors jumped in their kayaks to witness the rare treat for themselves.

Capturing the awe inspiring event – which lasted around two hours – Jen filmed a basking shark swimming open-mouthed, its smoothly pointed fin breached out of the water, which caused the waves to rock the surrounding vessels.

A crowd of boaters and paddle boarders, which included children, looked on with amazement at the rare event – keeping movement to a minimum so as to not scare the creature.

‘Instead of heading home, our team took the kayaks out for a rare treat.

Kayakers spotted the giant basking shark (pictured) off the coast of the Isle of Man

Basking sharks are the second-largest fish alive and can grow to as long as 32 feet

‘We assembled a small armada in the bay and headed out to try and spot him.

‘The shark had clearly found a favoured feeding spot that was rich in plankton, as he was swimming around, open mouthed, getting merrily full.

‘He didn’t seem concerned by the flotilla of small crafts and made frequent close passes by.

Gentle giant: Kayakers watched the beast circle for as long as two hours before it departed

‘They are inquisitive creatures and will come and investigate you if you sit still.

‘Everyone who was there to witness this reacted really well to the shark – they all correctly followed the Basking Shark Code of Conduct, which advises vessels to keep still and just watch.

‘It was truly breathtaking, people were calm and quiet with nervous excitement with each close encounter.’

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