THIS was the spectacular underwater scene as hundreds of hungry gannets plunged into the icy North Sea to feed on a shoal of mackerel.

The stream-lined seabirds were captured after plunging through the ocean surface at speeds of up to 60mph to hunt their prey.

Under the waves, the gannets showed off their formidable diving skills as they swooped on the mackerel and ate them whole before resurfacing.

Snapping at one another as they competed over the food, the large gannets got their feed off the Isle of Noss last week.

Photographer Brian Matthews, 41, donned diving gear and underwater camera kit as he submerged himself in the frosty 13.7C water for almost an hour.

He described the scene as being “absolutely mental”.