LUTZ, Fla. (CNN/WFLA) - A scuba dive for a Florida couple turned into an invasion of killer whales.
They weren't out for the attack – rather just a little fun.
Laura and Rich Howard's home is filled with photos of exotic fish, photos Rich has been taking for years.
"Ever since I was about 5- or 6 years old and I got my first book from Jacque Cousteau, and I've just loved the ocean ever since," said Rich.
It's a love Rich and his wife share, so they decided to take a dive trip to La Paz, Mexico to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.
They got up close and personal with some pretty friendly sea lions.
"Just in the very beginning of the dive, the dive master comes down, starts tapping us, saying, ‘Dive's over. Dive's over.' We're like, ‘What?'" said Laura.
The couple quickly understood why the dive was cut short. They could see massive dorsal fins breaking the water and heading straight toward their boat.
"I didn't think killer whales," said Laura. "I thought, 'Oh, it's going to be a humpback. It's going to be a sperm whale, something that we'll see from a distance.'"
But that's not what the pod of 20 killer whales had in mind. As soon as the boat took off, the massive mammals started playing in the wake.
"It was amazing to see them because they were maybe 6- to 8 inches off the back of the boat," said Rich. "Every time they'd come up for a breath of air, they would spray you."
This time, it was Laura's turn to be the photographer. She captured the amazing video on her Flip camera.
"You could see through here, but it was still kind of hard," said Laura.
And it was kind of hard for Laura and Rich not to get excited with the killer whales playing a lot like dolphins do around Tampa Bay, Fla.
"The actual video doesn't do it justice," said Rich. "When you were there and looking, the water was so clear."
The killer whales followed the boat for about an hour.
"I really feel like they were getting as much excitement about me screaming and making a big deal as they were having fun," said Laura.
It gave the Howards a memory that will last a lifetime.
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