Killer whales seeking vengeance attack boats off Spain and Portugal

Vengeful killer whales off the coasts of Spain and Portugal are attacking yachts and boats. 

  • Killer whales near Spain and Portugal are reported to be attacking people.
  • Since July, there have been over 30 strikes. 
  • Experts believe the sea mammals are being vengeful as several were injured over the summer. 
Credits: NOAA Fisheries

According to experts, the killer whales are going after people because several of them were injured over the summer, The Guardian reveals.

As per the New York Post, since July, there have been over 30 attacks in northern Spain, in the Strait of Gibraltar, and near Portugal. The unusual orcas’ strikes caused severe harm, including boats being left with damaged steering systems.

On Tuesday, the group of scientists working on the issue stated:

“The trigger for this strange and aggressive behavior could have been an aversive incident that the orcas had with a boat, and in which the speed of the boat could have been a critical factor. For the moment, we have no clear evidence of when it happened, nor can we say for sure what kind of boat may have been involved, nor whether the incident was accidental or deliberate.”

The experts believe that the sea mammals “may have felt compelled to act when they saw a sailboat in order to slow it down by going after its rudder.” Another suggestion they shared is that the orcas might be simply playing around “out of curiosity.”

Regardless of the reason behind the killer whales’ bizarre behavior, sailors are terrified of the possible consequences. 

Victoria Morris, a boat owner, shares her vessel was attacked by a pod of nine killer whales. The orcas slammed the boat extremely hard, resulting in breaking the rudder and damaging the engine. This chilling encounter occurred in late July. Morris says:

“The noise was really scary. They were ramming the keel, there was this horrible echo, I thought they could capsize the boat. And this deafening noise as they communicated, whistling to each other. It was so loud that we had to shout. It felt totally orchestrated.”

Another two attacks occurred in the area that week. One of them was of a 40-foot yacht, which was rotated around its own axis by the killer whales. The other one was of a boat that had its rudder rammed so hard that the helmsman ended up with a dislocated shoulder.

Furthermore, in September, a 48-foot yacht was being attacked by orcas for nearly an hour. Graeme Walker, the yacht owner, shares:

“I felt a thump on the boat and the helm was pulled out of my hand. I was not really sure what was happening, then one of the animals broke the surface, on the left-hand side of the boat, for breath. You never know how these things are going to play out.
None of us have ever been through anything like this before.

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