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Orcas In Howe Sound, B.C. Put On Amazing Show For Boaters

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There's no question these B.C. whale watchers got what they came to see.

Elliot Funt, from Vancouver, posted a incredible video of a pod of killer whales going in for the kill — paying no mind to boaters and sightseers also sharing the space.

Funt was out Tuesday enjoying the waters of Howe Sound near Vancouver with some friends, when a group of six orcas arrived on scene.


Too close for comfort?

The whales were drawn in while playing a game of chase with a sea lion, Funt told The Huffington Post Canada.

The 300-pound sea lion was trying to climb a nearby boat to escape the hungry whales, he said. The orcas taunted their exhausted prey by continuously pushing the boat out of the sea lion's reach.

"I feel like I'm an ice floe and they're just trying to wash him out from underneath me," calls a man from the boat where the sea lion was trying to climb aboard. (Watch video above.)

howe sound whales
The whales pushed this boat several hundred metres while pursuing the sea lion. (Photo: Elliot Funt/YouTube)

The whales were coming so close to Funt's boat that "they definitely rubbed against the hull a few times," he said.

"We weren't really sure what to do. We didn't want to hurt the orcas by turning on the motors."

A quick-thinking guide from a nearby whale-watching tour encouraged the boater closest to the sea lion to act as an escort and chaperone the tired animal to safety a few hundred metres away, where it climbed onto the shore of Bowyer Island.

Funt says he's been boating the waters for Howe Sound for many years, but has never experienced whales quite so close before.

"It wasn't that scary, it was really exhilarating," he said.

"It all happened so fast."

howe sound whales
The orcas were rubbing against other boats in the area. (Photo: Elliot Funt/YouTube)

However, Funt said he's worried that experiences like this will soon be history in the Howe Sound area.

He said a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing and export facility at the former Woodfibre pulp mill site would bring tanker ships directly through the waters where his orca sighting occurred, disrupting marine wildlife.

He's asking anyone who watches his video to read up on the project and consider signing the Howe Sound Declaration.

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