Terrifying moment kayakers freeze in fear after being circled by three killer whales while paddling half a mile out to sea
- Footage shows three orcas swimming towards kayakers near a Russian island
- One of the predators bursts its head above water and lurches itself at the men
- The kayakers shriek and swear in fear throughout their terrifying ordeal
- Killer whales can grow up to eight metres in length and weigh around 5,500kg
This is the terrifying moment three killer whales circled a pair of Russian kayakers who had paddled half a mile out to sea.
Two kayakers immediately stop paddling in the calm waters as they spot the huge orcas swimming towards them.
The nail-biting 40-second saga took place off Cape Mramorniy, on Sakhalin, an island that is almost as big as Scotland.
The three killer whales can be seen approaching the kayakers, who have stopped paddling
Suddenly one lurches forward toward the boat as the kayaker shrieks in fear
‘It’s looking at me’, one of the shaken kayakers says as the whales swim ominously underneath, seemingly planning their attack.
Suddenly one of the predators bursts its black head above water and lurches towards the man in the red kayak.
‘F***! Oh wow f***’!’ the men can be heard shouting.
The orca darts back underneath the red kayak as its two companions follow
‘Okay, so that’s the end of our communication,’ one of the relieved kayakers says as the orcas swim away
The whales then swirl underneath for another few seconds before darting away, leaving the pair laughing nervously at their close encounter with the giant mammals.
‘Okay, so that’s the end of our communication,’ one of the relieved kayakers says.
Alexandr Yemchenko, one of the men in the video, turns the video on himself and his companion and says: ‘Killer whales, friends, these were real killer whales.’
‘They looked at the men, and the men looked at them,’ one local media outlet reported.
Killer whales can grow up to eight metres in length and reach weights of nearly 5,500kg.
There are around 50,000 killer whales globally, and they are most commonly found in the Pacific Northwest – where this incident took place – as well as along northern Norway’s coast and on higher latitudes in the Southern Ocean.
Despite their name, no fatal attacks on humans in the wild have ever been recorded – though there have been numerous such incidents in captivity.
Most famous was Sea World’s Tilikum, a male captive orca who spent the majority of his life performing at Sea World Orlando.
The whale was the focus of CNN’s Blackfish documentary, which claims that orcas kept in captivity can become unnaturally aggressive because of psychological damage.
Tilikum was involved in the deaths of two trainers and one trespassing man.
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