STUNNING photos shows a dolphin breaching just metres away from “extremely lucky” kayakers.
The touching scene, which took place in the Moray Firth last month, saw a dolphin jump out of the water and land in front of the gobsmacked kayakers.
The images were taken by whale and dolphin watcher and guide Steve Truluck, 45, who described the moment as “rare”.
The photos show father and son-in-law Eddie Pratt and Mark Lean in a boat metres away from the bottlenose dolphin as it leaps through the air.
Another shows it just as it re-enters the water, with its body submerged.
And a final shot shows the “hell of a splash” as the dolphin landed, throwing up sea foam.
The group of kayakers were also pictured staring in disbelief shortly after the amazing sight.
Steve took to Facebook the day after the encounter on 29 June to share the photos, saying: “Anyone know who these guys are?!
“A dolphin breached just a few metres away from them at 17.00 on Monday as they kayaked near Hopeman harbour.
“Certainly shows just how large the bottlenose dolphins are here in the Moray Firth.”
The photos were met with delight from social media users.
Avril Millington wrote: “That is incredible. I need to do this.
“To be so close to them would be such an amazing and awesome experience.”
Dianna Jenkinds said: “A moment never to be forgotten.”
And Christina Worth commented: “That is amazing.”
Speaking today, Steve explained Eddie and Mark were out on their first kayaking trip.
He said: “It’s rare to see them breach so close to people.
“At Hopeman, I’ve seen them next to surfers, paddle boarders, people sailing and of course motor boats out fishing or dolphin watching – but you’ve got to be really lucky to see them breach so close to you, especially on your first ever trip out on a kayak.
“The dolphins up here are the largest bottlenose dolphins in the world, so they usually land with a hell of a splash.
“It’s very impressive to see when you’re out on a little kayak and so close, but possibly slightly nerve wracking.
“I think I’d have been pretty nervous with a 3.5m long dolphin jumping right next to me!”