Watch: 'That is a beast!' Tauranga swimmers bump into group of baby orcas - then massive bull orca

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A group of swimmers in Tauranga got more than they bargained for during their regular lunch-time swim, coming face to face with a huge bull orca.

Steven Morris was out with his buddies from the Seamen Ocean Swim Squad when they swam into a group of baby orca whales.

Video of the once in a lifetime experience was captured on bodycam and posted to the Seamen Ocean Swim Squad's Facebook page on Monday.

"When I got around the back of Rabbit Island I sort of swam into a lot of baby orca," Mr Morris told the Waikato Times.

"We thought this was all very exciting and we go very close.

"One of the fellas said, 'oh they are just like big dolphins' but then a big one started towards us."

It was at this point that the group realised it might be best to make for the nearby rocks.

The video shows the group swearing as a large dorsal fin draws ever closer. "That is a beast," one of the men exclaims.

"It's something you joke about a bit but you never imagine seeing it up close," Mr Morris said to the Waikato Times.

"It hasn't put us off swimming and we were back out there again today after scanning the horizon."

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