When Comox resident Kirk Fraser took his visiting parents and a friend boating to watch whales in Powell River, they weren’t expecting to get the exciting show that unfolded after a pod of orcas began hunting a seal nearby.
The crew was out on a 33-foot zodiac boat when about 12 whales began swimming about 100 metres away. They noticed the orcas were hunting and playing with one seal when another seal’s head popped up near their boat.
Out of fear, Fraser said the seal beelined it under their boat, but the whales followed.
“All of a sudden it popped up a little bit closer and just stared at the boat… the next thing you know, it was scrambling to get on the back of the boat,” Fraser told Global News.
The seal struggled to shimmy up onto the boat while the whales narrowed in right near the engine, which was not on at the time. Fraser said the seal fell off the boat and jumped back on about three times.
The video shows the exciting moment the boat crew watched the seal climb aboard as some large whales swim right below. The whole ordeal lasted 45 minutes.
“That was my first time ever seeing killer whales… I’ve never seen anything like it, I don’t think anybody else has ever seen anything like it,” said Fraser.
WATCH: GoPro camera captures sights and sounds of orca pod as they hunt for seal
While the video shows the seal struggling to get on the boat, Fraser said they didn’t want to interfere.
“We obviously weren’t going to touch the seal, we weren’t going to interfere with anything.”
He said one of the larger whales blew its blowhole and led the pod away, after which the seal jumped back in the water and swam off, after hanging around the boat for a little while just in case.
The whole experience was somewhat nerve wracking, according to Fraser.
“We were a bit scared the whales were going to nudge the boat and maybe try to flip it. These whales were the size of the boat.”
But the whales never even touched the boat.
Despite the nerves, Fraser was happy they were able to catch the moment.
Watch the video above.