Killer on loose off Coffs Coast

WHEN skipper Ross Whybrow set off early Wednesday morning on his fishing charter, he did not expect to see such an awe-inspiring sight.

About 12 nautical miles north east off the coast of Coffs Harbour, he spotted what he believed to be a pod of killer whales.

"I saw the whales about a half a kilometre away from the boat with the distinctive white marks of the orcas," he said.

Not long before that Mr Whybrow said he saw the dead, bloated body of a humpback whale calf floating in the ocean.

"It's bottom jaw and tongue was removed," he said.

"That's how I knew it was a killer whale. They call them the wolf of the sea, because they hunt like a fox or wolf would. And it didn't have any markings on it, as it would if it was hit by a boat."

This is not the first time Mr Whybrow has spotted killer whales in the area.

In September of last year, Mr Whybrow said his charter, Game Striker, had a very close encounter of the cetacean kind.

"One of the girls who saw them got a fright they came so close to the boat she fell backwards.

"They are as inquisitive as inquisitive," he said.

"They rolled in the water and when they eyeballed us, we could see their eyes as big as saucers."

Mr Whybrow said the whales follow the humpbacks on their migratory journey, and feed on the young calves.

"They seem to hang around Coffs for a couple of weeks," he said.

"I think these ones are heading north."

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