Natalie Kepa told Storyful she “didn’t know what to do” when some killer whales appeared as her six-year-old daughter was waterskiing in Kumutoto Bay, New Zealand, on Sunday, January 5.
Video of the incident opens with little Stella taking to the water on skis for the first time. She looks a real natural, as her mom and others aboard the boat cheer her on.
Those cheers soon turn to shouts of surprise and shock, however, when it becomes apparent there are orcas in the water. Shouts of “hold on” are heard as the boat quickly slows down and moves toward a jetty.
“I was beside myself,” Natalie told Storyful. Stella, on the other hand, “totally loved it,” Natalie said. She “was crazily calm throughout” and is now keen to get out again as her friends thing she’s an awesome “whale rider.”
While orcas regularly tackle large prey, they don’t attack humans unless threatened. There are no known cases of humans being killed by them in the wild, according to Whale Facts. Credit: Natalie Kepa via Storyful