Orca gets too close for comfort

Last updated 14:09 24/01/2014

Incredible: A male orca, known as Koru, breaches off the coast of Kaikoura. Koru was among a pod of at least 15 orca spotted off the coast last week. Dolphin Encounter owner and operator Dennis Buurman said another well-known orca, Ben, was also among the group. Ben found fame in June 1997 after being stranded on Northland’s Mangawhai Beach, before being refloated. He is identified by his deformed dorsal fin after having been run over by a boat some years ago

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A Blenheim man thought he was about to become a killer whale's toy when an orca began circling him in the water at a Marlborough beach yesterday.

Cody Broughton-Day, 19, was with a group of friends at Whites Bay, near Rarangi, when he spotted fins in the water.

He went to the water's edge to get a better look and saw a pod of orca in the distance. He waded into the sea to warn a kayaker who hadn't spotted the pod.

The water was up to his chest when two orca suddenly appeared right in front of him, he said. Three larger orca were still visible in the distance.

The kayaker who Broughton-Day had gone in to help started frantically back-paddling, he said.

An orca about 3 metres long began to circle him.

"That gave me a bit of a fright," Broughton-Day said.

"If I was any deeper I probably would have been a toy."

The orca kept following him until the water was waist-high, then both orca headed off towards Rarangi.

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- The Marlborough Express


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