US Coast Guard Crewman Captures Spectacular Orca 'Orchestra' in Antarctic Waters

A crew member aboard the US Coast Guard’s Polar Star ice-cutting ship captured spectacular footage in January of a pod of orcas, also known as killer whales, as well as a minke whale swimming off the bow of the ship in Antarctica.

The footage was published on the Polar Star’s official Facebook page on February 1. However, USCG Fireman Niall Shannon originally posted the footage of the orcas on Instagram on January 4, with the caption, “Finally got a good recording of the orchestra.”

The clip of the minke whale, posted on January 16, was filmed “on a fluke,” Shannon said, after using a “GoPro on a string” to capture footage of the orcas. “Antarctic minke is the primary prey of Type A orcas!” Shannon noted in his Instagram caption.

According to the USGC website, the Polar Star travels to the United States’ McMurdo research station in Antarctica every year “to lead Operation Deep Freeze and break miles of ice up to 21 feet thick.” Credit: US Coast Guard via Storyful

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