SCUBA DIVERS in County Clare got more than they bargained for when they set off on an underwater adventure off Ireland's west coast last week.
The Burren Sub Aqua Club, based in Clare's unique national park, offers adventurers the chance to see some of Ireland's most famous landmarks from a totally different perspective-- underwater.
Those involved can explore the Burren, the reefs of the Aran Islands and even the Cliffs of Moher from several feet beneath the surface, and you never know quite what you're going to find-- as these scuba divers recently learned.
Staff from the Sub Aqua Club were diving near Freagh, Miltown Malbay on Sunday last week when they were approached by a large, curious dolphin-- Clare's local aquatic celebrity, Dusty.
While Dusty the Dolphin isn't as famous as her Kerry counterpart Fungie, she's lived a similar solitary lifestyle, and thousands have flocked to the Wild Atlantic Way to see her-- and she sometimes interacts with swimmers, too.
In footage captured by one diver, Finbar Smith, over the bank holiday weekend, Dusty the Dolphin can be seen curiously swimming up to the group and allowing one to touch her before doing a playful flip and turning back around.
The incredible moment won't be forgotten by these divers any time soon-- and if you'd like the chance to experience it yourself, or take part in the diving club's other aquatic activities, you can check out the Burren Sub Aqua Club's Facebook page here.
With the warming weather bringing more and more people to Ireland's waters, sightings of sharks and dolphins have become more common; last week, kayakers off the coast of Kerry got a close-up experience with enormous basking sharks who were feeding near Slea Head.
You can check that out here.