On a recent trip to the ocean, an experienced paddle boarder grabbed the opportunity to paddle with a pod of orcas.
Luckily, Rich German was equipped with a camera and captured the experience on a video that's now been viewed nearly 400,000 times.
The Laguna Beach paddle boarder said the encounter was a once in a lifetime experience. He's seen dolphins, humpback whales and blue whales first hand -- but not killer whales.
“I’ve always had this dream, and that was to see orcas,” he says on the video.
After hearing a pod of killer whales was swimming off Long Beach and heading south, he went to Laguna Beach and spotted them.
He jumped on his board and paddled to the pod of five whales. It was an exciting and exhilarating experience for the videographer.
German filmed the orcas from his board. At one point, he dropped down to his knees, fearing a whale might knock his board over. Instead, it swam underneath.
“I was too excited to be scared,” he says.
In releasing the video, German said he hoped to raise awareness about orcas. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, some populations of killer whales are endangered or threatened.