Aggressive Orcas Hit A Yacht’s Hull, Leading To Its Sinking In Moroccon Waters

Orca
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A group of Orcas sank a 15-meter sailing yacht named Alboran Cognac in the Moroccan waters of the Strait of Gibraltar.

According to Spain’s marine rescue service, the yacht, carrying two passengers, was attacked by exceptionally social apex predators known as killer whales at around 9 a.m. local time on May 12, 2024.

Passengers reported experiencing abrupt hits to the hull and rudder, resulting in water intrusion into the yacht.

After contacting the emergency services, the terrified passengers were fortunate enough to be rescued by a nearby oil tanker, which promptly took them to safety in Gibraltar.

Despite the rescue efforts, the yacht was left adrift and eventually sank.

This particular incident is only one of the many similar encounters that have affected the waters surrounding the Gibraltar Strait, which separates Europe and Africa, and the Atlantic beaches of Portugal and Northwest Spain.

Experts attribute these occurrences to a subpopulation of around 15 orcas known as “Gladis”.

The GT Atlantic Orca group, which monitors populations of the Iberian Orca subspecies, reported approximately 700 interactions since the first reports of orca assaults on ships in May 2020.

Despite the extensive data, researchers still need clarification on the leading causes of such behaviour.

Several explanations have evolved, ranging from playful exploration to deliberate targeting of perceived competitors for their primary prey, local bluefin tuna.

Despite being categorised as killer whales, orcas are endangered dolphins capable of attaining lengths of up to eight meters and weights of up to six tonnes in adulthood.

As the Mediterranean yachting session begins, concerns regarding maritime activities’ safety grow amid these alarming encounters.

The unfortunate drowning of the Alboran Cognac serves as a harsh reminder of the possible dangers these mysterious creatures pose.

While efforts to understand and prevent such accidents continue, the threat of orca encounters remains a concern for individuals navigating these regions.

Reference: Reuters

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