Children frightened by close orca encounter in Auckland

Two children experienced a close-up encounter with orca while swimming at Waiheke Island on Thursday.

Local Brett Thom was out walking his dog at Enclosure Bay in the afternoon, when he heard screams as the orca approached.

Dramatic footage shows the killer whales, two adults and one baby, gliding through the water past the terrified children.

Once the orca left the bay the children swam to nearby rocks to get out of the water.

Mr Thom said the orca were "not the slightest bit interested" in the swimmers.

Nick Syred also captured footage of the orca, including the moment one of them catches a stingray, this time a few minutes away at Oneroa Beach on Waiheke Island.

New Zealand is home to 150 - 200 orca, according to DoC, which travel long distances along the coastal waters.

Here is DoC's advice about what to do if you see orca while out in the water: 

  • Do not swim within 100m of a killer whale/orca
  • Your vessel should not be within 50m of a killer whale
  • There should be no more than three vessels within 300m of any marine mammal, additional vessels may watch from 300m.
  • Your vessel should approach orca from behind and to the side
  • Do not circle them, obstruct their path or cut through any group
  • Operate your boat slowly and quietly at 'no wake' speed when within 300 m of a killer whale
  • Avoid sudden noises that could startle the animals
  • Sightings of orca can be reported by calling 0800 DOC HOT.


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