Killer Whales Sink Another Yacht

Vessel went down in the Strait of Gibraltar after occupants were rescued
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2024 12:30 AM CDT
Updated May 18, 2024 12:40 PM CDT
Orcas Sink Another Yacht
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Wirestock)

In what is apparently now a trend, orcas sank another yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar on Sunday. One particular pod of Iberian killer whales in the region off the coasts of Spain and Portugal has been ramming vessels since 2020, and the most recent attack took place in Moroccan waters, Reuters reports. Two people were aboard the 49-foot Alboran Cognac when they started feeling blows to the hull and rudder and water started seeping in, maritime authorities said Monday. They sent an SOS and were taken to Gibraltar by a nearby oil tanker, leaving their boat adrift. It eventually went under.

According to El Pais, the pod, which is collectively known as Gladys or Gladis, has sunk five sailboats and two fishing boats; the whales have also rammed hundreds of other boats without sinking them. Last year, Yahoo Life reported on the orca thought to have started the strange behavior, who was believed to have been pregnant at the time. Some experts suggested she may have suffered some type of trauma that led her to start attacking boats, but others say the sinkings may not be intentional. "They don't go like a battering ram to attack the ship and sink it, and they might do so if that were their intention," says one marine biologist, suggesting it may be an attempt at play or simply a show of curiosity. (More killer whales stories.)

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