Orca tows sailboat across harbor to the astonishment of onlookers

Orca tows sailboat across harbor to the astonishment of onlookers

Outdoors

Orca tows sailboat across harbor to the astonishment of onlookers

Orca performs tail-throw after towing sailboat. Image is a video screen grab

A seemingly playful or mischievous orca was caught on video Sunday pulling a sailboat across part of a British Columbia harbor via the vessel’s anchor line.

The 27-year-old male transient orca has been spotted several times in or near Comox Harbor during the past week. Previously, sightings of this mammal (photo-cataloged as TO73B) were rare, researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger told BNQT Outdoors.

The footage, posted to Facebook by Ara Stevenson, shows the orca approaching the anchored sailboat R-Therapy, owned by Dan and Kendra Campbell. Suddenly, the vessel begins to move across the water.

Nobody was aboard the sailboat at the time. The Stevenson family watched in awe while documenting the bizarre scene with a video camera.

Orca approaches sailboat. Image is a video screen grab

Dan Campbell told MyComoxValleyNow.com that he and his wife were returning to their boat after a trip home to let the dogs out, when they noticed that the boat was not where they had left it.

“We pulled into the parking lot and I didn’t see the mast,” Campbell said.

A couple aboard a larger yacht motioned to the Campbells as they were in their dinghy, trying to locate their boat. The orca had pulled R-Therapy around the bow of the larger yacht, and there was a slight collision.

After letting go of the line, the orca breached and threw its tail skyward before swimming away. (There’s a slightly possibility that the orca briefly became entangled.)

Both vessels were slightly damaged.

The orca is unique in that he has not been seen with his family in several years. Scientists refer to him as a dispersed male, or solo male, Schulman-Janiger said.

Comox Harbor is located on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.

–Images are video screen grabs

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