Kevin Dutch was surprised to spot the eight-legged cephalopod in waters off the Kent coast

One of the great joys of boating is spotting unusual aquatic wildlife, and while many of us will have seen sharks, dolphins and even whales on our travels, the harbourmaster at Gillingham has chalked up an altogether more unusual sighting – a red octopus.

Kevin Dutch snapped the cephalopod last Saturday (26 April) after it attracted the attention of a number of fisherman and onlookers at the Kent marina.

The eight-legged creature was spotted near the hoists where it was also attracting the attention of the local crabs which were attacking it, Mr Dutch told the Kent Messenger.

“It’s not something you normally see here. I’ve been here eight years, it’s the first time I’ve seen one of them,” the 33-year-old told the local news provider.

Quite how the unusual visitor made his way into Gillingham harbour is unclear, but Mr Dutch suggested that he might have attached himself to the hull of one of the boats that arrived in the marina over the weekend for the 2014 Boat and Chandlery Fair.

And Kevin advised boat owners heading down to Gillingham over the Bank Holiday weekend to keep their eyes peeled as the octopus may still be at large.

“They are very intelligent creatures and it could find its way back,” he warned.