In a scene resembling a David Attenborough documentary, tourists and crew returning from a diving expedition near South West Rocks on Saturday morning spotted six killer whales harassing two humpbacks and their calf.
The group was on its way back from exploring Fish Rock Cave, about 1.5km off Smoky Cape, when skipper of the vessel Steve Skinner noticed a splash in the water not far from the lighthouse.
Upon motoring over for a closer look, it became clear the disturbance was an orca’s dorsal fin breaking the surface, one of six in pursuit of the humpbacks.
Mr Skinner says the adult humpbacks were swimming either side of the calf in an effort to protect it from the encroaching predators.
“This is the first time in eight years at South West Rocks Dive Centre that I’ve seen killer whales,” he said.
After being distracted by the boat and playing in the bow wave briefly, the orcas’ attention reverted to making a meal of the calf.