Playful Killer Whales Join Woman for a Swim Off New Zealand Coast

Imagine enjoying a calm afternoon swim off the coast when all of a sudden, three wild orcas begin to swim alongside you. Seems like a fantasy, right?

Well in the drone video above, you can see a woman in New Zealand experiencing just that. Judie Johnson, in her 60s, got the surprise of a lifetime when three killer whales join her in her journey along the coast.

"There was a shape that went under me, like a huge shape and I thought (it was) dolphins and I was quite excited," Johnson told 1 NEWS. "And then I saw the great white color on the back. I was also thinking they eat seals and I'm in a black wetsuit."

The aerial view and the crystal clear waters allow you to see that the orcas almost make her the center of their pod as they swim along together. It appears as if there is one adult, one juvenile and one calf.

Johnson says she was scared at first, but after gazing into the large orca's eyes, her fear quickly turned into joy and calmness.

"It was so different to anything that's happened to me before and I thought, no, this is a life-changing experience," Johnson told 1 NEWS.

While killer whales have a reputation due to incidents in captivity — and it's never advised to approach marine mammals — scientists say attacks against humans are rare in the wild, and that orcas are smart and playful like dolphins.