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Unforgettable dining experience: Bears spotted swimming at Shawnigan

Linda Lee Matthews called the moment a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

People who recently dined at a Shawnigan Lake restaurant were shocked at what they saw in the water.

Linda Lee Matthews was sitting at The Lakehouse at Shawnigan on Wednesday around 3:40 p.m. when she heard someone shout, ‘Look in the water!’

She looked over and saw the heads of two animals swimming. 

'I thought, 'Wow, those are big dogs,’” Matthews tells Glacier Media in an interview. 

Little did she know at the time, she was staring at two bears swimming together.

Once Matthews realized what she was witnessing, she took out her cellphone to record a video.

"I was flabbergasted,” she says. "I never thought I would ever see anything like it. It was crazy.”

Everyone else in the restaurant started shouting and took out their phones to try and capture video too.

“It was really something to see,” says Matthews. “It’s a video I will keep forever.”

During her video, people can be heard laughing. At one point, someone suggested the bears were headed for the docks.

"They swam so, so fast, probably five minutes to get across,” says Matthews. "They really slowed down at the end but they made it. I’ve never seen a bear swimming in the lake before.”

Staff at The Lakehouse at Shawnigan also witnessed the bears swimming. 

“It was amazing,” says Aiscia McNutt. “There had been a staff party at the same time.” 

Matthews called the moment a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

"I’m so happy I got to see it,” she says. 

Should anyone come across the bears again, the Conservation Officer Service asks the public to give them plenty of space and a way to exit.

If there is any human-wildlife conflict, people are asked to contact the RAPP line at: 1-877-952-7277.