Sea lion jumps onto boat to escape killer whales

News

A pair of boaters off the British Columbia coast received a shock when their small vessel was nearly capsized by a sea lion fleeing from killer whales.

Ernest and Viesia Godek said they cut their engine when they spotted a trio of killer whales near their boat while fishing at Pedder Bay, near Victoria.

The pair said they soon heard a banging on the bottom of the boat, followed by the appearance of a sea lion at the side of their craft.

The sea lion then jumped onto the side of the boat in an apparent attempt to escape the killer whales.

“It tipped the boat over to the point where we had to hang on to the gunnels, the water started pouring into the boat … I was just hoping that we wouldn’t totally tip over,” Ernest Godek told the Times Colonist.

The boat righted itself and the sea lion plunged back into the water. The couple said it continued to follow them as they headed back to shore.

Photos and video of the encounter were captured by passengers on a nearby whale watching boat.

Mark Malleson, the vessel operator, estimated the California sea lion weighed 700-800 pounds.

“If that animal had landed in the boat, somebody could have gotten seriously hurt, just from the sheer size or from the teeth,” Malleson said.