Huge 30-Foot Orca Swims Under Oregon Fishing Boat: 'I Didn't Like That at All'

A huge 30-foot male orca swam right underneath a small fishing boat in Oregon, spooking the passengers.

Charter boat captain Dan Rocher was fishing off the coast of Cape Kiwanda, Sand Lake, when he spotted five orcas swimming ahead of them, KGW8 reported.

Rocher took his camera out to film a video of the whales, however shortly after, a male orca turned and started swimming right toward his boat.

"[There were] three cows, a calf and a bull — and they were big," Rocha told the news outlet. "My boat is 23 feet long and when he swam under the boat there was fish on both ends of the boat at the same time. So he was big."

Rocher told KGW8 he was "very spooked" by the incident.

"I didn't like that at all. And then once he went away, we relaxed a little bit," he said.

Orcas have been known to get close to boats before, however experts don't believe they mean to harm humans. It is more likely that it's out of curiosity, or playfulness.

Huge Male

However, the mammals can grow incredibly large. Male orcas usually grow to a maximum of 26 feet, making this bull particularly large for the species.

There have been no reports of a killer whale harming a human in the wild—the only fatalities and injuries have related to captive orcas.

In recent weeks, an alarming number of orcas have been sighted off the Oregon coast— experts believe they are descending on the area to feast on seal pups.

The whales started to arrive in Oregon in late April. Since then, there have been multiple sightings every day. The Oregon Coast Whale Watchers' Facebook page is posting regular updates on orca sightings in the area.

The latest sighting posted as of June 9, reported a male orca swimming in the Newport Jetty area.

Marine biologist and ecologist and killer whale researcher in this area Josh McInnes previously told Newsweek that experts are noticing a "seasonal trend" in orca sightings.

"So transient [killer whale sightings] may occur year-around, but we notice a spike in occurrence in the spring. This is likely related to the harbor seal pupping season," he said. "Our research spans from Southeast Alaska to Southern California. Most sightings of transient killer whales occur in the inland waters off Southern Vancouver Island, Washington state, southeast Alaska and off the central coast of California. However, there are few sightings for the Oregon area."

Along with their surprise Oregon appearance, Killer whales have been seen in record-breaking numbers across the Salish Sea. Many orcas have been spotted in Puget Sound, Washington, with more than 15 matrilines confirmed across 10 groups.

Male killer whale
A file photo of a male killer whale. One measuring 30 feet swam underneath a fishing boat in Oregon. Alessandro De Maddalena/Getty