Seal jumps onto fishing boat to escape hungry killer whales

By Ben Hooper

July 5 (UPI) -- A quick-thinking seal managed to avoid becoming a meal for some killer whales by boarding a nearby charter fishing boat.

Nick Templeman said he and a partner were doing a survey on transient orcas when they spotted a pod of the killer whales chasing a seal near Campbell River in the waters of British Columbia.


Templeman said the seal took off swimming toward a nearby charter boat.

"When it all took place, it took literally about 30 seconds for that seal to come over 150 feet towards the other boat," Templeman told CTV News. "All of a sudden it comes up and around, up on the swim grid, and it all just started to take place, just like that."

The seal jumped up onto the Pacific Yellowfin, a charter boat captained by Colin Griffinson of Pacific Yellowfin Charters.

"We said, what will we call the seal if we actually ended up keeping it?" Griffinson told the Columbia Valley Pioneer. "We just joked that we'd call it Lucky."

Video filmed aboard the boat shows the seal hiding at the back near the motors while the killer whales swam nearby.


Griffinson consulted with Templeman, who told him the orcas were unlikely to pose a threat to the boat, despite it offering refuge to their intended meal.

The captain said he eventually navigated away from the scene and, once the killer whales were safely out of sight, attempted to prod the seal off the boat.

The seal refused to budge, and even jumped back onto the boat when the crew successfully pushed it off. They decided to allow the seal to stay as long as it wanted and headed back toward the docks.

Griffinson said the seal jumped overboard as the boat entered the shallows and passed by a spot frequented by seals.

"He obviously recognized the place," Griffinson said. "He just jumped off."

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