‘Something that I haven’t witnessed before’: Transient orcas hunt in French Creek Harbour


Alex Horner still can’t believe what he witnessed in French Creek Harbour Wednesday.

“It was cool. I don’t think I’m ever going to see anything like this ever again,” said Horner, a Quesnel resident visiting family in Qualicum Beach.

The 23-year-old was working on his sailboat at 11 a.m. Wednesday, preparing it for a post-pandemic sailing adventure to Mexico, when adventure came to him.

“I heard this noise. It was like a swish sound and I was kind of confused, sea lions don’t make those noises and I look over my shoulder and there are orcas right there in the bay and I see fins and fins,” said Horner.

That’s when the fishermen started filming on the dock.

“See that? Oh my God,” a fishermen can be heard saying in a cell phone video that recorded the encounter.

Witnesses tell CHEK News, that one large transient orca, flanked by three smaller ones, hunted and caught a sea lion right in front of their boats.

“Doing it in a place like this too, you wouldn’t think they would be bold enough to come into a marina,” said Horner.”

Darrell Jobb has been fishing around French Creek for 40 years and said he has never seen anything like this happen here before.

“To have them come in the harbour is pretty spectacular,” said Darrell Jobb, of Western Star Charters.

“Yeah it is quite different behaviour. Something that I haven’t witnessed before. For sure,” he said.

It leaves many wondering if the orcas will be back soon and, by the looks of it Thursday, the sea lions may be worried about that too.

Instead of the typical dozens dripping from the rocks and docks, there were just a few to be found on Thursday and fishermen told CHEK News they had never been quieter.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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