Florida man swims with large group of pilot whales

Last Updated: Saturday, June 03, 2017

A Miami-Dade County diving instructor got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when a large group of pilot whales showed up off the coast of Bal Harbour.

  • Florida man swims with large group of pilot whales
  • Arie Derzavich was diving when pod of whales showed up
  • Amazing experience occurred off coast of Bal Harbour in Miami-Dade

Arie Derzavich got to get up close and personal with around 30 whales and it was all caught on video.

“I put on my mask and I put on some fins and I jump, and the minute that I jumped, I started to see a huge pile of pilot whales. So beautiful.” Arie said.

Arie is a dive instructor and boat captain and set sail from the Bal Harbour Marina when he came across the whales.

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

Arie’s wife, Sharon, said he called and was giddy with excitement.

“He is screaming over the phone. I don’t know if something is happening in a bad way, and I’m like, ‘calm down and tell me what’s going on.’ He was like that little kid in a candy shop, screaming like crazy, ‘I am diving with pilot whales.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t even know what that is.’ And he is like, ‘I don’t even know how many whales and I’m jumping in the water, it’s so amazing,” Sharon explained.

She said Arie even tried to communicate with the whales.

“The video is very, very impressive and you see so many,” she said.

“To see them like all together, normally they are by themselves—between two or three—but when I saw a huge pile, I couldn’t believe it,” Arie said.

Arie has been a diving instructor for 17 years and said he’s never seen anything like this before. He said he wants to use this unique opportunity to bring others to the wonders of nature.