Famous white killer whale ‘Frosty’ spotted off California coast: ‘Very special encounter’

An incredibly rare pod of killer whales was spotted off the coast of Newport Beach in California on Monday, including a rare glimpse of a white killer whale calf named Frosty.

Jessica Roam, an education and communications Manager at Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker Whale Watching, confirmed the sighting to FOX Television Stations. 

"Our whale-watching boat the Catallac was the first to spot the famous killer whale pod about nine miles off the coast of Newport Beach this morning during one of our morning whale-watching cruises," Roam told FOX on April 29.

Frosty is a 4-year-old calf and is considered a unique killer whale due to its genetic condition, which causes the whale’s pigment to be a much lighter color than most killer whales. The last time the whale watching company spotted Frosty was about one year ago in April 2023.


The whales were spotted on April 29 in Newport Beach, California. (Credit: Delaney Trowbridge, @NewportCoastalAdventure, @NewportWhales)

In a video, uploaded by the boating company, passengers watch "in awe" as the killer whales cruise near and underneath the boat. 

The boat’s captain, Dani Fasser said she and her passengers were "extremely lucky" to locate the pod of several whales.

"We were watching a pair of giant fin whales, and all of a sudden, she [a passenger] saw puffs in the distance, which were definitely not a dolphin. Turns out it was KILLER WHALES!," Fasser said in a statement. "They were extremely excited to be the first to spot them this morning!"


The famous white whale has been nicknamed Frosty by the public. (Credit: Delaney Trowbridge, @NewportCoastalAdventure, @NewportWhales)

According to Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker Whale Watching, the whales were feeding on a beach-ball-sized chuck of an unknown animal and were passing it back and forth. 

"Sightings of killer whales are few and far between along the Southern California coastline, so it was a very special encounter," Roam continued. 

RELATED: Watch these dolphins steal the show for whale watchers in California

This particular pod has been previously sighted as far north as British Columbia. Their last reported sighting was in Morro Bay in October 2022. 

Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker Whale Watching operate daily whale-watching tours out of the Newport Beach harbor in California.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.