Akl man fined for ‘body blow’ boat jumping with killer whale

An Auckland man has been fined $600 after performing a “body slam” on an orca from a boat.

In February this year, a video was shared on Instagram showing a man off the coast of Devonport jumping into the sea from a pleasure boat, right next to an orca.

The DOC said the video showed what “appears to be a deliberate effort to touch or ‘hit’ the orca.”

In the video, the man can be heard saying, “I touched it,” and those in the boat ask, “Did you get it?” While laughing and encouraging the man.

The DOC said it and the harbor master had received multiple calls about how close people were getting to the marine mammals, and a member of the public informed them about the video.

“The video really stunned us,” said DOC Senior Investigative Officer Hayden Loper.

Some screenshots from the video of the man jumping into the water with an orca.

Loper said the 50-year-old Auckland man showed “reckless disregard” for his own safety and that of the male orca with a calf near the boat.

“In addition to the initial attempt to dive into the animal, the man remains in the water and then swims towards it again in a second attempt to touch it.

“This is stupid behavior and shows a shocking disregard for the orca’s well-being. “It’s extremely irresponsible,” Loper said.

“Orcas are immensely powerful animals, and this really could have ended horribly: either the frightened whale was injured or the man responsible was injured by the irritated animal.”

It is illegal to swim with, molest or harass any marine mammal, and the man was fined $600.

Loper urged anyone in or out of the water to avoid swimming with marine mammals, especially orcas.

“There have been incidents where wild orcas have been perceived to have attacked humans, including recent incidents off the coast of Spain where the orcas have sunk several small boats, and any sudden movement near the orcas poses a risk.” significance of people being harmed.