The volunteer crew from RNLI Longhope were on a routine training session in Scapa Flow this morning when they encountered a pod of approximately six orca, who provided an unexpected but amazing display alongside the boat.
It’s Sunday morning and, while the rest of the world is sleeping, our volunteer lifeboat crew were up and out on one of the regular training exercises that are so important in ensuring that we can continue our commitment to saving lives at sea.
Imagine their surprise when, off the coast of St Margaret’s Hope, Orkney, they encountered a pod of around six orca who treated them to a fantastic and prolonged display. The orca, who were from the ’65 pod’ and included ‘Busta’ the bull, are regular visitors to the Orkney Islands.
Trainee Navigator, Alan Mackinnon said, ‘It was an amazing encounter. There were about six orca including a calf and a bull. They were swimming around and under the boat, tail slapping and jumping in the air. They gave us a brilliant acrobatic display.
‘To see these majestic creatures up close, and in their natural environment, was an absolute privilege and an experience that I will never forget.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
Learn more about the RNLI