Passengers who were out whale watching off the coast of Dana Point on Saturday were treated to a rare and breathtaking sight when a false killer whale unexpectedly gave birth alongside their boat.
The stunning footage was taken from a catamaran operated by Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari.
A pod of about 40 false killer whales were swimming near the vessel when members suddenly came up to the port side and pushed against the boat.
“There was a sudden burst of blood and the newborn calf popped out!” a news release from Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari stated.
The whales huddled around the calf, spending the next 10 to 12 minutes pushing it to the surface as the newborn learned to swim, said Capt. Tom Southern in the news release. He was among those who witnessed the event.
False killer whales are normally found in warmer waters, and rarely seen off the Southern California coast, according to the release. Capt. Dave said his last encounter with one was in March 2014; before that, it had been nearly 10 years since they were spotted in the area.
“What a once in a lifetime thing to see! In over twenty years on the water I have never seen anything like that. And I know of no one who has ever seen a wild Pseudorca birth!” Capt. Dave said in the release.
“Mark Tyson, one of our seasoned crew, told me it was his most emotional moment on the ocean ever,” he added.