Boat captain swims with 30 whales off South Florida coast

NEAR BAL HARBOUR, Fla. (WSVN) — A South Florida boat captain stumbled upon about 30 pilot whales during a swim, Monday morning.

Arie Derzavich, a dive instructor and boat captain, took a swim with about 30 pilot whales and managed to get it all on camera.

“It was one of my highlights,” said Derzavich. “I was so excited to do it. I couldn’t believe it happened to me.”

Derzavich spotted the whales about 20 miles off the coast of Bal Harbour after he set sail from the marina. “So I put on my mask, and I put on some fins, and I jumped,” he said. “The minute I jumped, I started see a huge pile of pilot whales. So beautiful.”

Derzavich was so excited by the experience that he called his wife, Sharon. “He’s screaming over the phone,” she said. “And then I’m like, ‘Calm down and tell me what’s going on.’ He was like a little kid in a candy shop screaming like crazy, ‘I was driving with a pilot whale.'”

The diver even tried to speak with the whales. “The video is very, very impressive because you see so many whales,” Sharon said.

Derzavich has been a diving instructor for about 17 years and said he had never seen anything like the pod of whales. He said he had to capture it all on camera.

“Normally they’re by themselves between two or three, but when I saw the huge pod, I couldn’t help it,” he said.

Derzavich said he filmed the swim not just for himself but so that everyone could experience nature.

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