A pod of porpoises gave a fishing expedition a surprise after up to 20 of the mammals swam around their fishing boat.
Shaun and Caroline Robinson, from Seaham, were around eight miles off the coast of their home town on Tuesday morning when they were welcomed by the creatures.
Shaun, 46, a service engineer, and Caroline, 56, a manager for the Hospital of God dementia service in Seaham, had been fishing for cod when they were spotted off their rigid inflatable boat, which they share with friend Phil Light.
"I've seen them before in Scotland, but this is the first time I've seen them here," said Shaun.
"I knew exactly what they were.
"They were playing along as we travelled and they were cutting from the right and then alongside the boat.
"I know they've jumped across the front of boats before.
"It's not something you see every day. I saw them and got my phone out and got them on the camera as they came along us.
"There must have been 15 or 20 of them.
"It was a bit warm and the sea was flat calm, it was like the Mediterranean."