Tourists off Vancouver Island witnessed a rare sight when a pod of dolphins stormed past a whale-watching vessel near Mid-Island this weekend.
Dozens of Pacific white-sided dolphins swam past the ship on Saturday afternoon in an area north of Brown’s Bay, according to Chelsea Cameron, co-owner of Discovery West Adventures.
Cameron says the tour, which operates from Campbell River, was in the water and had recently seen passing orcas believed to be from the T90 family.
About 30 minutes later, the tour spotted the pod of dolphins. The tour expected to see the dolphins at an appropriate distance, until they realized that the “orcas have caught up with them,” Cameron said.
“We didn’t see them until the dolphins started swimming towards us,” she said.
The pod of dolphins were swimming to escape the orcas, Cameron said.
She notes that the orca family, the T90s, are “known dolphin killers” that occasionally prey on white-sided dolphins, which are commonly found in the area during the summer.
Shortly after the video was taken, passengers also saw an adult male killer whale launching a dolphin about 15 feet into the air, Cameron said.
On his social media page, Discovery West called the meeting a “once in a lifetime spectacle.”