TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida family captured a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a wild manatee as they were waiting to catch some waves off Fort Pierce Inlet on July 4.
In a now-viral video that was shared with News Channel 8, two friendly manatees approached the family, who are locals to the area, as they waited for the waves.
Husband and wife Brandon and Lisa Blais told WJXT their sons, Evan and Logan, “were out surfing when two manatees came up on them and started swimming around them.”
Soon after, one manatee was caught on video swimming up to Evan and playfully stealing his surfboard. The boy laughed and let go of the board as the manatee floated on its back, holding the board against its stomach.
Leesa Blais shared the video on Facebook and told the news outlet her husband captured the video on the family’s GoPro action camera.
Blais said the boys were alarmed at first but knew to stay clear and to never touch the manatees. She said the manatees swam around the boys for about 10 minutes before swimming away.