‘It’s like winning the lotto’: Orca surprises paddle boarder at mouth of Jordan River

Josh Constandinou/submitted
Brad Carr ended up with a close encounter to an orca while paddle boarding recently.

A Saanich man paddle boarding off Jordan River last week found himself at the right place at the right time, not to catch a wave, but an orca in a slightly unexpected place.

“I couldn’t believe the size of it,” said Brad Carr. “Like that fin was as tall as me.”

Carr says he was putting on his wetsuit when he saw some surfers scared out of the water as an orca came up to check them out. Thinking it was over and the killer whale had left, Carr jumped into the water on his paddle board.

“And all I see is this huge dorsal fin,” said Carr. “He came cruising right by me. He was within 10 metres probably and I swear he kinda looked at me as he went by.”

The incredible encounter was call caught on camera by his friend and fellow surfer Josh Constandinou last week. Carr says the orca did a loop inside the bay at the mouth of Jordan River before coming back out under the bridge and back out to sea.

“I’ve been surfing out there since 1979, and no one has ever seen anything like that. That was a very rare spectacle. It’s like winning the lotto,” said Carr. “Waves come and go but I’ll never have that day again.”

The chance run in has left a seasoned surfer like Carr wondering what’s the bigger adrenaline rush — the waves or the whale.

“Boy was that a memorable one. A memorable day for sure and it certainly wasn’t the waves,” said Carr.

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