For anyone who’s seen the film Jaws, it’s a relatable moment of terror: the sight of a fin poking above the water near a popular beach, sending terrified swimmers running towards shore.
That was the scene a woman captured at a popular beach in New Zealand last Saturday – only the animal in question wasn’t a great white shark, but a killer whale.
Several, in fact.
“It wasn’t until one of the orcas branched away from the pod towards the shore that onlookers started shouting out to the swimmers.”
That moment was caught on camera by Lindsay, who was at the popular Hahei beach on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula Saturday around 1:00 p.m. local time with some friends when the whales approached.
As she was filming the close encounter, a group of swimmers turns from curious to terrified as a black fin knifes through the water just metres from where they were standing.
“They came in very close, about 10 metres from shore,” Gary Hinds, chairman of the Hot Water Beach Lifeguard service told NZ Newswire. “They come in to feed on stingrays and stuff like that.”
The whale’s actions do not seem to be aggressive, at least towards the swimmers. As the video ends it can be seen waving its flippers in the shallow water near shore.
Nobody was injured in near run-in with nature.
“It was a once in a life time experience to see such a beautiful animal up close in the wild,” Lindsay said. “We won’t be forgetting this any time soon.”