“It’s something you see at SeaWorld.”

Fort Pierce, Florida – What started as a yellowfin tuna fishing trip ended with an “experience of a lifetime” for a group of eight passengers off the coast of Florida.

Jay Sharon was on his brother Alan Sharon’s boat, The Corkscrew, when he spotted a pod of killer whales swimming about 80 to 100 miles east of Fort Pierce.

“Normally, you never see them there. I’ve been there for 40 or 50 years, and I’ve never seen orcas on the East Coast,” Sharon told FOX 35 News Orlando.

“I’ve never seen killer whales on the East Coast.”

Sharon added that he and the rest of the crew noticed they were blowing near the surface before they saw the whales for themselves.

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“When a whale comes out of the water and inflates its body like that, you see the dorsal fin — it’s unmistakable,” he said. “It’s something you see at SeaWorld, and it’s never been seen out in the world and certainly not on the East Coast.”

Sharon said there were two or three groups of whales in each.

“One room will come, then another,” he said. Although he is not sure whether he saw a baby whale and its parents or a male and female, he said it was a “shocking” experience nonetheless.

Sharon also said the boat didn’t get close to the whales, but he definitely used the zoom tool on his phone’s camera to capture the moment.

“All the people on the boat are salt dogs who have been fishing their whole lives,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve ever seen anything like this before.”

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Rare and unusual, according to NOAA

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesperson told FOX 35 News there are two recognized killer whale stocks in southeastern U.S. waters, the western North Atlantic stock and the northern Gulf of Mexico stock.

While the total number of killer whales in the western North Atlantic stock off the east coast of the United States is unknown, and they are considered uncommon or rare in the Atlantic Ocean, there are an estimated 14,000 killer whales in the North Atlantic Ocean between the Faroe Islands and Canada. .

Killer whales are unpredictable, but they are sometimes found on fishing grounds coinciding with tuna in warm seasons.

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