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'It didn't seem real': Orca swims beside paddle boarder in mouth of Jordan River

A paddle boarder found himself right beside an orca in an unexpected place.

A B.C. man was paddling near Vancouver Island when an orca swam just metres from him. 

Brad Carr was heading out to the Juan de Fuca Strait from Jordan River on his paddle board on March 27 when he spotted a dorsal fin around 3 p.m. 

"I've been surfing there for over 40 years; never seen anything like this ever, not even close,” says Carr.

A surfing friend of his was nearby and captured the video of the incredible encounter. 

"Just as I enter the water to head out for the waves, this monstrous killer whale comes cruising up the river mouth under the bridge,” says Carr. “It does a loop inside the bay and then comes back out under the bridge and out to sea.”

Carr tried to keep his distance from the orca while on the paddle board and said it came within 10 metres of him. 

"The dorsal fin was so huge it didn't seem real,” he says.

It was an experience he won’t forget. 

"I wasn't too frightened. I was more in complete awe of the experience and consider it a unique and beautiful gift from the universe that this happened almost exclusively for me,” he says.

Onlookers were surprised to see the whale in the river and wondered if there were salmon in the area. 

Carr was the only one paddling on the ocean at the time and believes he locked eyes with the whale.