Boaters were a safe distance from a pod of orcas in Howe Sound in British Columbia on Tuesday until a frantic sea lion decided to take refuge under and alongside one of the boats.
Elliot Funt of Vancouver was in the other the boat and captured amazing video of six hunting orcas as they attempted to dine on the sea lion:
“It was crazy,” Funt told CBC News. “At first when we spotted the orcas everyone was keeping their distance but then a sea lion came over and attached itself to the boat next to me. So of course all of the orcas followed over to the boats.”
Funt told Huffington Post Canada that the orcas were so close to his boat that "they definitely rubbed against the hull a few times."
"The orcas almost pushed [the boat] over," Funt told CBC News. "The sea lion was moving from side-to-side of the boat, and then tried to climb up the side of the boat and was hanging on trying to avoid the orcas."
In the video, the other boater can be heard saying, "I feel like I’m an ice floe and they’re just trying to wash him out from underneath me.”
"We weren't really sure what to do," Funt told Huffington Post. "We didn't want to hurt the orcas by turning on the motors."
But after about a half hour, a guide from a nearby whale-watching boat encouraged the boater to do just that and act as an escort by slowly motoring toward shore, giving the sea lion a chance to escape onto Bowyer Island.
“All the whales followed,” Funt told CBC News. "But the sea lion was able to hop on [land]…
"I didn't feel at risk at any time. I've been boating all my life, but I've never seen anything like this."