OTAGO, New Zealand, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A crew of eight New Zealand rowers say a sea lion attacked and cracked their boat in two places before chasing them swimming back to shore.
"I saw this dark figure looming under the boat, I felt it hit and seconds after water came gushing up it was panic stations," rower Matt Smail told the Otago Daily Times.
The eight-man University of Otago rowing crew was about 650 feet offshore when the incident took place and the crew decided to swim to the closest boat ramp for safety, the newspaper reported Thursday.
"It was the best 1km (0.6 miles) we rowed all morning. We went flat tack," Adam Garden said.
When the crew pulled the boat out of the water, the sea lion "came up for another inspection," he said.
"It walked up the ramp and gave us a bit of a snarl."