A squealing seal decided humans were a safer bet than a pod of mammoth killer whales when he scrambled on board a Canadian boat to save his life.

The little seal accidentally tumbled off the back of the boat twice before finding a solid perch as the big black orcas continued to stalk him and spouted repeatedly.

"Just stay there, will ya?" one of the seal's startled hosts tell him as he films the scene.

The quirky seal popped out of the water while Comox resident Kirk Fraser was taking his parents and a friend on a whale-watching tour in British Columbia, only to spot a pod of 12 orcas on a seal hunt. The intended prey tried to escape by swimming under the boat, but the orcas followed.

"We thought it was an injured seal. It looked at us and jetted under the boat," Fraser told Global News. "All of a sudden it is between the engines with whales all around."

That's when the panicked animal scrambled on board – three times. When he finally found a spot on the boat to settle down he waited out the great beasts, who continued to circle for some 45 minutes.

"We were a bit scared the whales were going to nudge the boat and maybe try to flip it," said Fraser. "These whales were the size of the boat."

That was "my first time ever seeing killer whales. I've never seen anything like it. I don't think anybody else has ever seen anything like it," said Fraser.

The orcas finally lost interest and swam away. The seal, who was dubbed "Gerald" by Fraser, quietly slipped into the water to live another day.

He continued to hang around the boat "just in case", but later swam off. "That was his lucky day," Fraser added.