Killer whales caught on camera during rare sighting off South Kona

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Boaters off the south Kona Coast got a rare, close-up look at a pod of killer whales this weekend.

It happened on Saturday, May 13, at around 2 p.m.

Cory McCord, a captain with Fair Wind Cruises, was wrapping up a snorkeling cruise about two miles off Hookena Beach Park when he spotted the killer whales splashing in the distance.

“I knew exactly what they were almost immediately. I grew up in Seattle and grew up around orcas and seen them often. They’re pretty much unlike any other marine mammal we have out here,” McCord said. “I went over the intercom and told everyone to get their cameras out, because this is something I’ve never seen out here. I’ve worked out on the water for almost 10 years now, and I’ve never seen them. I heard of them being down here this time of year, but never actually got to see them with my own eyes.”

McCord says he picked up speed to travel alongside them while keeping a safe distance away.

“They were absolutely flying for how big they are. We got to be with them for a good five or six miles. They were heading south toward the southern tip of the island,” he said.

McCord says all 40 people and four crew members on board “got some pretty cool shots of them. Everybody on board saw them. Like I said we hung out with them for about 40 or 45 minutes. It was awesome.”

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