May 18, 2024

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A pod of killer whales sinks a 50-foot yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar

A pod of killer whales sinks a 50-foot yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar

world News

A pod of killer whales sank a 50-foot yacht in Moroccan waters on Sunday when the massive marine mammal collided with the vessel and forced two sailors to flee, officials said.

Spanish authorities said the crew members were rescued by a passing oil tanker who had been alerted to the desperate situation after the boat developed a leak during an orca encounter in the Strait of Gibraltar.

A pod of killer whales has been causing problems for boaters in the area for years. Getty Images

The two people were customers, and the ship belonged to the Spanish company Alboran Charter. According to the Washington Post.

The yacht, which was 14 miles off the coast of Cape Spartel, later sank to the ocean floor in the latest orca attack, prompting experts to warn other sailors of the danger in the area.

Last October, a yacht belonging to a Polish tourism agency was continuously attacked by a pod of killer whales for 45 minutes, resulting in “severe damage and leakage.” The agency said. The boat ended up sinking.

The Rock of Gibraltar can be seen from a ferry in the Strait of Gibraltar, southern Spain.
The accident is one of many that have occurred in the Strait of Gibraltar. Reuters

Killer whales also interfered in a sailing race last year when a boat traveling from the Netherlands to Italy had a 15-minute confrontation with the animals. The crew was forced to lower their sails and make noise to repel them.

Since 2020, hundreds of boats sailing in waters near Spain, Morocco and Portugal have encountered at least 15 orcas, leading to some shipwrecks, the Washington Post reported.

The Spanish Ministries of Transport and Environment have warned sailors of sailboats and small motorboats that killer whale activity peaks between May and August between the Strait of Gibraltar and the Gulf of Cadiz. Officials encouraged boaters to sail near the coast.

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A team of Spanish and Portuguese marine biologists, called the Atlantic Orca Working Group, said there were 197 interactions between boats and killer whales in 2021 and another 207 interactions in 2022.

With mail wires

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