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Swimmers Narrowly Avoid Orca Attacking Dolphin in San Diego

Killer whales were spotted preying on a dolphin meters away from surfers and swimmers off the coast of La Jolla in San Diego, California, on Sunday, January 28.

Footage recorded by Jacob Halstead captures the close encounter. It shows a pod of orcas leaping out of the water near a group of surfers.

The orcas are then seen moving past people swimming close by in pursuit of a dolphin.

“There’s like ten people swimming right there!” Halstead says in the video.

“I see a dolphin, it looks like they’re chasing a dolphin,” he adds.

Halstead told Storyful he was at the beach reviewing footage for surf coaching when the incident occurred.

“I witnessed orcas eating a dolphin feet away from surfers,” Halstead said.

Speaking to SURFER, Halstead explained he was “pretty baffled” by the encounter.

“Pretty crazy experience to see on a Sunday morning. I had a lot of people comment and message me how scared they were for the swimmers, but they wanted nothing to do with them. They made their way through a crowd of 250 surfers to get to the two dolphins, so that should say a lot,” he said. Credit: Jacob Halstead via Storyful

Video transcript

- [INAUDIBLE] something over there-- oh.

- They're jumping! Yeah, they're chasing dolphins, dude!

[WAVES CRASHING]

- Oh, the dolphin! Oh Jesus [MUTED].

- Holy shit.

- I'm getting out of here--

- Holy [MUTED].

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Holy [MUTED]. I think I got that, bro.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- I think so. Oh my gosh, they're right off the tip of the pier! Nailing sh-- oh my gosh. They're eating a dolphin. They're literally eating a dolphin.

[DISTANT MUSIC]

- So that happened.

- There's a guy swimming out-- look at the guy swimming!

- No way.

- You see him? Do you see the guy swimming?

- Yeah, yeah. Unbelievable.

- There's like, 10 people swimming right there.

- [MUTED] [INAUDIBLE] [MUTED].

- Swimming?

- (LAUGHING) Yeah.

- By them?

- They-- yeah, I don't think they meant to, but.

- Oh my god.

- They're going to see it.

- Oh my gosh. Yeah. They do. They're stopped. Oh, I see a dolphin-- it looks like they're chasing a dolphin.

[FAINT CHATTER]