Video shows transient orca towing sailboat off B.C. coast
A transient orca that has been hanging out in Comox Harbour was caught on video a few days ago appearing to tow a sailboat.
The video, posted to Facebook Sunday, July 29, shows the whale dive under the moored vessel, which starts to move quickly across the water seconds later.
In the video, posted by Ara Stevenson, someone can be heard saying “he’s stealing the boat.”
No one was on board the vessel at the time.
Another boat was moored nearby however and the orca ends up pulling the small boat into the bigger one before it can be seen diving down back into the water.
This is the same orca that has been hanging around in the Comox Harbour for about a week.
It is believed to be 27 years old and making quite a splash in the waters off the small Vancouver Island community of Royston. He usually moves up and down the coast from Alaska to northern California.
Locals and visitors have been delighted by the sightings but there are some concerns as to why the whale is lingering in the area.
“Even to see a killer whale in one area for a whole day is sometimes quite unusual,” Jared Towers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada said. “So considering this is quite a confined area and he’s been here for a week, we are quite concerned.”
While the orca is known to travel alone, officials are monitoring the situation and using it as an opportunity to educate the public about newly enacted rules.
“There is a new regulation in place, put in earlier this month where it’s a minimum approach distance of 200 metres for killer whales in western Canada,” Towers said.
Officers are on the water enforcing the new rules and they are hoping they will help the whale move on.
— With files from Kylie Stanton
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