800 pounds Sea Lion suddenly Jump on Small boat to Escape from Orca

A pair of boaters near Victoria escaped serious injury Monday when a large sea lion leapt onto their small craft in a bid to flee a trio of killer whales.

The dramatic encounter was filmed from a whale-watching vessel that had been following the transient, or Bigg’s, orcas near Pedder Bay, west of Victoria.

Mark Malleson, a whale-watching vessel operator and research assistant with the U.S.-based Center for Whale Research, tried to warn the boaters as the orcas headed toward their small vessel.

Sea lion jumps aboard woman's boat to avoid orcas - Upworthy

“As the whales sort of passed by the boat, there was a sea lion nearby which obviously got a look at the killer whales and maybe heard them,” Malleson told CTV News. “And it panicked.”

At one point in the video, Malleson can be heard yelling to the boaters: “You guys are going to want to get out of there!”

Close encounter: Sea lion nearly capsizes couple's boat | Animal Behaviour  | Earth Touch News

Moments later, the large California sea lion, which Malleson estimates weighed approximately 340 kilograms, began leaping from the water.

“It did one jump and kind of landed on the side of boat and then it did a second one, which actually flipped the boat up on its side and I thought they’d capsized for sure but it righted itself,” he said.

Huge sea lion tries to jump into B.C.'s couple's boat and nearly capsizes  it | CBC Radio

“The sea lion ended up back in the water and now they’re half full of water trying to motor.”


Airborne sea lion jumps into B.C. boat to evade killer whales - YouTube

The sea lion gave chase as the boaters, Ernest Godek and his wife Viesia Godek, headed straight back to shore, shaken but physically unhurt.

The couple had spent the morning fishing and trapping crabs when they noticed the orcas near the entrance to the bay.

Sea lion leaps on boat to escape killer whales in B.C. | CTV News

“They were about 25 metres away from us, heading towards us, and they took a dive and it was silent. So we were looking around our boat,” Ernest Godek told CTV News. “All of a sudden we heard this big bang against the bottom.”

The couple, who emigrated from Poland, thought they had been struck by one of the killer whales.

Killer whales hunting sea lions captured in YouTube video | CBC News

“My wife hit the floor and said that’s it, let’s get out of here,” Godek said. “But it just jumped right up and leaned against the side of the boat and that caused us almost to tip. It was a very scary moment, especially because the water started pouring into the boat.”

Malleson, the whale researcher, said the male California sea lion “must have been 700 or 800 pounds,” adding, “if that animal had landed in the boat, somebody could have gotten seriously hurt, just from the sheer size or from the teeth.”

The researcher said the encounter should serve as a warning to boaters in B.C. waters as the transient killer whale population has grown and become more active in recent years.

“As a commercial operator we do not want to interfere with a hunt,” he said. “If there’s a hunt going on, we need to stay well clear of the hunt so it doesn’t allow the seal or pinniped – seal or sea lion – to get to the boat because I have seen it before where they will get on the back of a boat.”

Sea lion hops on boat to escape killer whales

Jared Towers, a mammal researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, says the recent increase in transient orca activity “is the new normal” for the Vancouver Island region.

“It really highlights the importance of understanding the marine regulations and adhering to them,” he added.

Malleson said it’s likely the boaters were simply unaware of the danger they were in until it was too late.”I don’t think they really knew the situation,” he said. “They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”Godek said he and his wife didn’t speak to each other on their slow return to shore in the half-submerged fishing boat, their tackle box floating between them.”My wife was pale white when I looked at her. We actually made very little eye contact,” he said. “Nature and wildlife is indeed to be respected.”

Show More

Leave a Reply

Back to top button