Caught on cam: Dozens of dolphins charge past whale-watching boat off Vancouver Island

Tourists off Vancouver Island witnessed a rare spectacle when a pod of dolphins stampeded past a whale-watching vessel near the Mid-Island this weekend.

Dozens of Pacific white-sided dolphins swam past the vessel on Saturday afternoon in an area north of Brown's Bay, according to Discovery West Adventures part-owner Chelsea Cameron.

Cameron says the tour, which operates out of Campbell River, was in the water and had recently seen some transient orcas believed to be from the T90 family.

About 30 minutes later, the tour spotted the pod of dolphins. The tour had expected to just view the dolphins from an appropriate distance, until they realized that the "orcas caught up" with them, according to Cameron.

"We didn't actually see them until the dolphins starting swimming at us," she said.

The dolphin pod was swimming to escape the orcas, according to Cameron.

She notes that the orca family, the T90s, are "known dolphin killers" who sometimes prey on white-sided dolphins, which are commonly found in the area during the summer.

Shortly after the video was taken, passengers also saw an adult male orca toss a dolphin about 15 feet into the air, says Cameron.

On its social media page, Discovery West called the encounter a "once in a lifetime show."