Sunday Reader: Paddle Boarder Gets Close-Up Look At Orcas

Paddle boarder Rich German, of Laguna Beach, Calif., heard tell of a pod of orcas in the area earlier this month and took to the waters himself in hopes of an encounter. He got his wish, along with some incredible footage of a pod of five killer whales interacting with him.

Paddle boarder Rich German, of Laguna Beach, Calif., heard tell of a pod of orcas in the area earlier this month and took to the waters himself in hopes of an encounter. He got his wish, along with some incredible footage of a pod of five killer whales interacting with him.

Simply seeing an orca move through the water can be life-changing: a paddle boarder in Laguna Beach filmed his up-close look at a pod of friendly, graceful orcas in the wild.

Rich German says he had been dreaming of getting a close look at orcas. That dream came true recently, as a pod of five orcas swam around — and even under — German while he stood on his paddle board off of Laguna Beach, Calif.

The intimate sighting came after years in which German says he has seen graceful sea animals, from dolphins to blue whales.

Far from being “killer whales,” as they’re sometimes called, the orcas were “friendly and interactive,” German says. He posted a video of the encounter online.

“A lot of people have been asking me if I was afraid,” he says. “The truth is, I was too excited to be scared. At one point you’ll see me drop to my knees — only because I thought that one of the whales was going to knock me off my board.”

Indeed, one of the huge animals swam directly at German, drifting down into a dive just beneath his paddle board.

Crash

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