Kayaker encounters bear swimming in Hemlock Lake

Kayaker encounters swimming bear

It's a wildlife encounter an Irondequoit man won't soon forget. While kayaking on Hemlock Lake, he spotted a black bear swimming, and he's got the video to prove it.

This is the 13 second clip that Matthew Garrity was able to capture from his kayak -- just about 15 feet away from this black bear.

"Might have been a little too close. I got a little nervous, so the video is pretty short because as soon as I saw the front of my kayak come into focus I said OK, that's enough,” said Garrity.

Garrity was kayaking with friends on Hemlock Lake Saturday. That's when he spotted something swimming in the distance.

"I saw something crossing the water at a pretty good pace,” he said.

He wasn't sure what it was at first.

"I told my buddies, I’ve got to check this out because this is going to bug me if I don't figure this out soon,” said Garrity.

As he got closer he realized it was a black bear.

"The first thing I noticed was the noise it was making. It was snorting pretty heavily from all the exercise it was getting,” said Garrity. "He was swimming fast, he was swimming really fast.”

Garrity posted the clip to Facebook where it's gotten nearly a quarter million views. He still can't believe his chance encounter.

"It was absolutely crazy. I loved it and I'm so glad I got it on video,” he said.

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