Sea Otter Being Chased By A Killer Whale Leaps To Safety On A Boat With Just Seconds To Spare

This is the moment a quick-thinking sea otter leaped into a boat to flee the pursuing orca.

John Dornellas, 37, who works for Coldwater Alaska, an exploration firm that offers boat rides in the region, captured the orca desperately swimming towards him in Halibut Cove Lagoon.

The sea otter rushed onto Mr Dornellas’s boat’s transom only seconds before the orca, often known as a killer whale, surfaced.
During the film, which was shot on July 26, Mr Dornellas saw the killer whale emerge from the depths and shout, ‘Oh my god. It’s heading straight for the bow of the boat!’ ‘Oh guy, that poor otter wants to get the hell out of the water,’ Mr Dornellas says as a sea otter emerges from the water and begins swimming towards the boat. Oh my goodness, this poor guy.’

Mr Dornellas exclaims, ‘Come on up, bud!’ as the otter rounds the boat before climbing onboard and looking back at its predator in the water.

The sea otter goes back into the water, assuming the coast is clear, only to discover that the orca is still on its tail, so it jumps back into the boat. Later, Mr Dornellas claimed that the otter jumped back into the water four times before ultimately climbing inside the boat and refusing to leave.

Another skipper, Chantrelle Major, who was nearby and videotaped the incident, watched as the killer whale circled Mr Dornellas’ boat in pursuit of the sea otter.

Mr Dornellas eventually departed for his next pickup in Halibut Cove Lagoon after the orca had gone away from the boat.

Later, the tour guide determined that the female killer whale was the biggest in her group.

‘There was a visceral sensation in the air that I can’t explain, a tremendous hunting energy emanating from the orca,’ he added.

The otter’s primordial terror was also sensed, but the mix of such strength and helplessness caused a knot in my gut.

‘I felt really lucky to be able to witness the such an amazing encounter.’

‘I believe the orca had an otter pup in its jaws, which is why the otter kept going back into the water, but it ultimately came aboard and refused to leave.’

‘I was exhausted and feeling a little down after sailing the boat for 14 hours a day for days on end, but this ‘wink’ from God fired me straight back up and made the remainder of the day simple.’

‘Nothing I could have planned or done could have possibly prepared me for this experience, so I was left feeling humble and appreciative.’

Orcas, often known as killer whales because they were witnessed attacking other marine species, are the biggest member of the dolphin family and live in groups called ‘pods’ in the water.

The marine mammals, which can navigate and hunt underwater, are frequently sighted in southeast Alaska between early May and early June.

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