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Fleeting Wonders: A Thrilling Killer Whale Chase Caught on Camera

When you think of action-packed cinematic chase scenes, they don’t usually involve a pod of killer whales and a motorboat helmed by two frightened fishermen.

Well, here’s a new spin on the genre. As the Independent reports, two men in a 20-foot boat were fishing off the coast of San Diego when orcas came swimming toward them at an alarmingly swift speed. Amid shouts of “Dude!” and passionately voiced concerns about arms being bitten off, one of the fishermen filmed the killer whales’ approach. The whales swam toward the rapidly retreating boat for several minutes, at times coming within a few feet of the vessel.

Though freaked out, the pair of fishermen escaped their orca encounter unscathed. (Despite their “killer whale” moniker, orcas aren’t generally inclined to savage humans. They are, however, powerful enough to flip a 20-foot fishing boat as part of their playtime.) 

It’s been a big week for filmed aquatic animal encounters in San Diego—on September 12, kayakers shot a video of a hammerhead shark circling them a mile off the coast of La Jolla. Kayaker Ryan Donigan told Fox 5 that he “didn’t feel in danger,” but was “very enthralled by this awesome shark.”

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].