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Nature / Orca surprises friends on boat in ‘amazing’ encounter

A TEENAGER has spoken about the “amazing experience” of having a close encounter with an orca in waters off Shetland – which swam under his boat three times.

Bobby Pottinger, from Scalloway, took videos of the moment unfolding on Sunday afternoon.

The 16-year-old had gone out with a couple of friends to an isle called Langa to the west of Scalloway when they happened to meet an orca around 100 metres off land.

The videos show the orca swimming towards the boat before going underneath and around it.

Bobby, who has plenty of experience of boats through his dad owning a mussel company, put the engine in neutral as soon as the orca was spotted, meaning the propellor was completely still.

“Seeing one up that close was an amazing experience for me and my two friends I had with me – we were never expecting to see something like what we did,” he said.

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“The orca came right under the boat around three times.”

Bobby added that the orca was the only one to be seen out of the pod.

They then waited for the orca to move a safe distance away before slowly heading in the opposite direction.

Pods of orcas are regular visitors to Shetland’s shoreline.

The Facebook group Shetland Orca Sightings, which has nearly 30,000 members, allows people to keep track of any pods that are spotted.

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