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A yachtsman has opened up about the horrifying time a group of whales tried to eat him. Watch the dramatic encounter below:
Alan Bruce, from Ferndown, Dorset, was sailing a 44ft sailing yacht in the Gibraltar Strait when four orcas appeared and began ramming the boat in an attempt to throw him overboard.
The 63-year-old and colleague Stephen Peare, 49, were sailing the Jeanneau 479 yacht from Cartagena, Spain, to Portugal on behalf of a client when they came across the aggressive pod of whales.
Speaking about the terrifying encounter, Mr Bruce said they were a hair's breadth from becoming a light meal for the hungry family of mammals, which included an 18ft male, a female and two calves.
"Something hit beneath the boat and when I looked back the orca was there. There was a whole family of them. The male was a big boy, about 18ft long," he said.
"I rushed to switch off the engine and all the electric and just let them play with the boat.
"They can travel at 34 miles an hour and could crash the boat if they wanted to. They're not to be messed with and I didn't want to make them aggressive.
"We went down below deck because when we looked over the side at them they were eyeballing us for food.
"We could feel the force of these creatures pushing the sides of the boat and there was nothing we could do - it was a 10 tonne boat and they were pushing it sideways.
"They are very intelligent animals and they were trying to get at the rudder to disable the boat. I've read reports of orcas attacking boats and they always go for the rudders.
"They snapped the main rudder but we could still steer the vessel with an emergency steering system.
"We manoeuvred it to a port 10 miles north. It was night time by this point so I had to bring it into dock in the dark. When we arrived we had to open a bottle of whiskey just to calm the nerves."
Mr Bruce and his friend did manage to capture some footage of the whales on camera.
In the brief clip, the powerful creatures can be seen thrashing about in the water close to the vessel, seemingly trying to intimidate Mr Bruce and Mr Peare.
Eventually, the animals gave up the attack and the two men were able, somehow, to make it to the port at Barbate in southern Spain, 10 miles away.
Mr Bruce said: "The emergency crews here are saying it's happening every day - at least two or three times daily.
"I think it's all to do with global warming and over-fishing. We've been over-fishing their waters and now it's payback time."
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