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Killer whales sink yacht off Morocco after 45-minute attack

November 7, 2023 at 3:24 pm

A killer whale (orca) is pictured on November 26, 2021 [OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images]

A pod of orcas, also known as killer whales, caused a yacht to sink off the coast of Morocco late last month, following a 45-minute attack, according to Polish touring company, Morskie Mile.

In a Facebook post, the company said that the incident took place in the Strait of Gibraltar and that their yacht was attacked by the killer whales who hit the rudder blade for 45 minutes, “causing major damage and a leak.”

“Despite attempts to bring the yacht to port made by the Captain, the crew and rescuers from the SAR, port tugboats and the Moroccan Navy, the unit sank near the entrance to the Tangier Med port,” the company added, reporting that the crew were safe and sound in Spain.

The incident is the latest in a number of similar documented orca attacks, with hundreds having been recorded since 2020, although most are considered “bumps” and not aggressive assaults. There is also yet to be a documented case of a human dying from an orca attack in the wild.

According to Insider: “Scientists have offered several possible explanations for the behavior, including that orcas may be reacting to past trauma — or just having a bit of fun, such as when a pod of orcas in the Pacific Northwest spent several weeks swimming with dead salmon balanced on their heads.”

Attacks by killer whales seemingly trying to capsize boats off the coast of Spain and Portugal have more than tripled over the last two years, according to data released earlier in the year by the research group GTOA, which studies orcas around Gibraltar.

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