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Paddle boarders close encounter with Orcas -Laguna Beach, California

Published on Jan 14, 2015

Maybe resident population from BC or Washington State?  and not transients, as they are the ones that attack seals.

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Are Orcas not typically found in Long Beach or Laguna Beach?

I'm not sure, but first guess would be they go by there while migrating.

Looks like they were migrating South, but where from would be interesting to know.

"Monday, January 19, 2015 01:24PM

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) --

A Laguna Beach man took a chance on a tip and ended up paddle boarding with a pod of orcas as they made their way along the coast.Rich German heard the orcas were heading south off the coast of Long Beach. The next day, he got on his paddle board and went out into the ocean. Within two miles, he hit jackpot."

When I search Laguna Beach orca, the paddle boarder story is the only one that comes up.  There are whale and dolphin watching tours in the area.

Blue, Grey, and Fin whales seem the most common in addition to dolphins, but Orcas come through too:

"Killer whales can be seen at any time though most frequently they appear in the winter months."

I think your guess of Washington or British Columbia is a good guess.

Seems like orcas are not as dangerous to humans as I thought.

Found this on a BC orca tour site:

Orca whales are seen the most in the San Juan Islands between May and October when the Salmon runs are strongest, although we do have sightings throughout the year. You can expect to have the highest chance of seeing Orca Whales in the area from around mid May through mid October and about a 50% chance in March, April and late October.

So they could be down in Southern California.  When I first got interested in orcas 10+ years ago, no one knew where they went, but I would think someone would have tracked them by now.

My understanding is that the San Juan whales only go as far south as Monterey:

Nice find :)  So it must be transients.  The guy's lucky they didn't mistake him for a seal!

Yes, he is lucky. Or maybe they have better eyesight / sense of smell than I think?

NPR has more details about the paddle boarder:

He always wanted to see an orca up close!

I'm still amazed the orcas don't bother him. 

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