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Orcas sink yacht after relentless 45 minute attack

Orcas sink yacht after relentless 45 minute attack

The orcas have attacked again in the Strait of Gibraltar, this time sinking a yacht

A boat has been sunk after being attacked by a pod of orcas that roam the Strait of Gibraltar.

No-one was killed during this incident and everyone managed to get away just fine, but it must have been pretty terrifying for those on board the yacht at the time.

After all, these creatures can take down great white sharks, if they want.

This is far from an isolated incident, as a number of vessels have found themselves the subject of attacks from orcas - believed to be the same pod - in that part of the Mediterranean recently.

It’s not immediately clear why the orcas choose to attack the boats, but their methods have remained broadly the same.

In this incident, much like in many of the others, the orcas - who are actually large dolphins, not whales - battered the rudder of the boat, rendering it unable to move.

The Polish company that was operating the yacht then later said that they failed in all of their attempts to rescue it, and eventually it sank near to a port in Morocco.

Orcas have been attacking boats in the Mediterranean for a while now.
Getty Stock Photo

Luckily, the same operator said that the crew of the yacht were ‘safe, unharmed, and sound’ following the latest in a strange spate of orca attacks.

In their statement - as reported by The Sun - the Polish operator said: "Despite attempts to bring the yacht to the port by the captain, crew and rescuers from the SAR (Search and Rescue), port tugs and the Moroccan Navy, the unit sunk near the entrance to the port of Tanger Med."

The attacks in the Strait of Gibraltar have been taking place since 2020, and usually involve the pod of orcas swimming right up to boats and then interfering with them, ramming the rudder, often disabling the boat entirely.

Recent incidents have seen a 50 foot yacht attacked, as well as a tourist boat.

Orcas aren’t exactly the type of creature you’d want to mess around with.

Here's the boat they took down.
Facebook/Morskie Mile

They’re the largest type of dolphin, and one of the largest known predators in the sea.

Despite that, human attacks outside of captivity are almost non-existent.

In fact, there are no recorded reports of wild orcas intentionally attacking humans.

So, what’s the problem with the boats, then?

Some have suggested it is a game, others have suggested they are being led by a matriarch whale - nicknamed ‘White Gladis’ - that suffered trauma at the hands of a boat once.

Others have suggested that it could be because they enjoyed the relative calm and peace they had during the pandemic, and now resent the return of the noisy boats to their space.

It isn't completely clear why the orcas are battering the boats.
Getty Stock Photo

According to Dr Renaud de Stephanis, a biologist looking into it all, the orcas are having a bit of a laugh.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I’ve seen them attacking sperm whales - that’s aggressive.

“But these guys, they are playing.

“They can weigh four to five tonnes and when they play they really play.”

Of course, he admits it is ‘really scary’ for those on the boats, but he rejects the term ‘attack’ and prefers ‘interaction’.

He’s still concerned though, and added: “They just play, play and play. And the game is getting worse and worse.”

It definitely is for anyone who owns a boat around those parts, that’s for sure.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photo/Facebook/Morskie Mile

Topics: Weird, Animals, World News, Travel