Brothers fishing off the northwest coast of Ireland were shocked when two killer whales rose from the water that surrounded their boat recently.

The Irish Independent
reports that John and Pat Cunningham were trawling for Pollock when they made the discovery in their 23ft rowing boat just half a mile off the coast from Glencolmcille, in south-west Donegal.

"We had come across dolphins earlier... and they were jumping around our boat," said John (50).

"But then there was a splash, which I knew straight away wasn't a dolphin. Then the two killer whales rose from the water."

"I've only ever seen them in the North Sea when I was commercial fishing up there," John explained.

"We saw basking sharks earlier in the week and, of course, the dolphins, but I've never seen an orca around here before. It was a beautiful sight."

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's speculated that the killer whales may be the same pair spotted off Mizen Head in Cork on 11 June and Slea Head in Kerry a day later.

This is not the first sighting of killer whales off the Donegal coast, just over a year ago a pod of Orca whales spotted off Donegal.

Footage of the seven Orca whales in Lough Swilly, County Donegal, was caught by an angler.

Killer Whales visit Lough Swilly, Donegal 6th June, 2012