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Sea cow surfers: Florida family surprised by friendly manatees


Two Florida brothers caught more than a wave when they paddled out on the Fourth of July and encountered some friendly manatees.


Twins, Evan and Logan Blais, 11, were out surfing with their family on July 4th near Fort Pierce Inlet when a group of manatees, known as an aggregation, joined the surf session.

“I thought that the manatees were scuba divers at first,” Evan Blais said, adding as the sea cows got closer they could see it wasn’t humans.

Evan Blais said he stayed calm after his grandpa and dad told him the sea creatures were not sharks. 

The video shared by the boys’ parents Brandon and Lisa Blais shows the manatees coming right up to the young surfers and even flopping a flipper on a surfboard. 

While manatees are sometimes known as “sea” cows, these gentle creatures typically stick to coastal waters and Florida rivers and springs. Manatees’ primary food source is seagrass.

Despite their blubbery appearance, manatees have little body fat and cannot survive prolonged exposure to cold water. The sea cows swim freely in Florida’s fresh waterways from April to late October. In the winter months, they migrate into Florida’s springs or canals.

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Surf manatee
Twin brothers Evan and Logan Blais were surfing in Florida when they were joined by a group of manatees.
YouTube/First Coast News
Surfers manatees
Evan Blais said he thought the manatees were scuba divers at first.
YouTube/First Coast News

The Blais boys said that even living in Florida, they had never experienced a manatee encounter this close before.

Lisa Blais shared the video of the sea cows and Evan on Facebook, which now has more than 3,300 shares. 

Asked how the twins feel about their July 4th manatee surf session, Logan said, “It feels really good. It’s just, it’s cool.”

It was a special holiday weekend for the brothers, who celebrated their 11th birthday on July 5. 

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