‘I was in shock’
Sea lion drags little girl into water at Vancouver area wharf.
The man who shot heart-stopping video of a sea lion snatching a little girl off a Vancouver-area wharf says at first he froze.
“I was just in shock. I didn’t know what to do at first,’’ Michael Fujiwara said a day after he shot the video on Saturday that shows the sea lion lunge up, grab the little girl’s white dress and pull her down into the water at the Steveston Wharf in Richmond, B.C.
The terrifying video that Fujiwara posted online shows a man immediately leaping into the water, scooping up the child and hauling her to safety.
Fujiwara, 23, said he believes the man is the girl’s grandfather, and he grabbed both of their hands to help pull them back up to the dock.
“I was just panicking, actually. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I just didn’t know how to react,’’ said Fujiwara who was having coffee at the wharf when he decided to pull his phone out to take some video of the sea lion swimming by the wharf moments before it snatched the girl.
“Everyone just thought it was super friendly and all, but seconds later the girl decided to sit on the side of the dock and that’s when the sea lion decided to jump out and drag her into the water,’’ Fujiwara said.
The family was visibly shaken by the incident, Fujiwara added, and immediately left the area. Fujiwara posted the video online Saturday and by Sunday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 2.6 million times on YouTube, and shared more than 700 times on Twitter.
Bob Baziuk, general manager of the Steveston Harbour Authority, said watching the video made his stomach turn.
“It’s an unfortunate incident, first and foremost. I hope the little girl’s OK,’’ he said. “But we’ve been trying to get that message out for years and years — don’t feed the animals. You’re just asking for trouble when you do that.’’