It isn’t every day that a bald eagle is captured on camera swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
For two CHEK Viewers, they were able to have a front-row seat to the rare occurrence while out for a paddle in their canoe on Tuesday, July 21.
Mary Anne Goater and her husband Tim had taken their six-month-old labrador puppy, Bo, on an ocean canoe trip. They were paddling off the coast of Lantzville when a mature, adult bald eagle flew over their heads and dove straight into the water.
“We assumed it was after a fish and expected it to fly off with its catch, but it crash-landed in the ocean and couldn’t fly away,” said Goater.
Goater said the two were trying to figure out a plan on how to save the bird from drowning. According to Goater, the situation wasn’t presenting an immediately straight-forward solution.
Goater said the duo was trying to determine how to “get a wet, bedraggled and embarrassed adult eagle into the canoe to get it to shore? And, more importantly, how would a six-month-old puppy cope with this new shipmate?”
That’s when the eagle showed off its powerful swimming skills, maneuvering through the water using a butterfly stroke technique.
Goater said that the bird swam within three metres of their canoe before navigating its way to shore without any problems. According to Goater, they paddled close by just in case, but the bird needed no assistance.
Once the eagle made it to shore, Goater lightly joked “the eagle did not look very happy with our witnessing its misadventures.”
Goater added that both she and her husband teach biology and will be sharing the clips with their classes this fall.