By Richard Ashmore
Maybe they thought they were RAY-mon Abramovich, a massive shoal of eagle rays has been spotted surrounding the yachts of a popular Australian marina.
Deckhand Dane Loomes, 29, took this amazing footage on Friday of the mysterious sea creatures swarming around the shoreline in Port Stephens, near Newcastle, New South Wales.
As his video shows nearly 100 rays swarmed around the boats in the marina in a display which lasted nearly 10 minutes before they headed out to deeper water.
Dane said: “I’ve not seen anything like this before, we get the occasional one, but never this many so close to the marina, they must have only been in about five feet of water.
“I’ve been told the eagle rays might be migrating along the shore this time of year. They weren’t hunting anything as such, although I did see a couple the other day darting after bait fish.”
According to the Australian Museum the southern eagle ray occurs in the temperate waters of south east Australia and possibly New Zealand.
It has a blunt snout and eyes on the sides of the head and can grow up to 2.4m in length. It’s main body (or disc) can reach 1.2m across and it’s dorsal fin is followed by a venomous stinging spine on the long whip-like tail.