DANA POINT (CBSLA) — A group of whale watchers along the coast in Dana Point got the show of a lifetime Monday night.
The orcas, believed to be eastern tropical Pacific killer whales who usually live in Mexico and Costa Rica, made a rare appearance off San Clemente.
In drone footage from the scene, a dozen orcas were seen descending on a pod of dolphins, feeding on them just feet from a boat packed with whale watchers.
“That’s something you see in National Geographic, that’s not something you expect to go out on an evening whale watch and see,” Matt Larmand, who works with Dana Wharf Whale Watching, said. “I’m just rolling and trying to follow it as best as possible and all of a sudden they separate, there was a mom and a baby they separated from the pack, just doing circles around it just trying to separate baby from mom.”
He said it was sad to see, but at the same time incredible as nature played out right before his eyes.
Tour leader Captain Brian Woolley said he has never seen anything like it in 23 years.
“The passengers got to see this stuff up close and personal,” he said. “For some of them it might have been distressing, for sure, but that’s what happens in the open ocean. Animals need to eat to survive.”
Woolley said the last time the orcas where here, they disappeared then returned a few days later.
“On these whale watching trips, you absolutely never know what you’re going to see,” he said. “And those people got a show of a lifetime.”