Killer Whale Revolution Continues: Orca Attacks Another Boat, Stepping Up Hostilities Against Invasive Humans

Yet another instance of a seemingly coordinated killer whale attack has been reported during the international competition, The Ocean Race. Are we sure they didn’t call an emergency meeting?


Another pod of orcas, also known as killer whales, have waged war on anyone brave (or dumb) enough to sail the seas.

Per CBS News, two teams competing in the international sailing competition The Ocean Race was attacked by a pod of orcas who were seemingly unhappy with their presence. When the boats were traveling through the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, as detailed in a news release, multiple orcas approached the vessels and pushed up against them. They nudged and bit the rudders of the boats and one of them even rammed into them.

While the two teams, Amsterdam's Team JAJO and Portugal's Mirpuri Trifork Racing, reported no injuries or damages, the encounter was caught on video.

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"20 minutes ago we got hit by some orcas,” said Team JAJO skipper Jelmer van Beek. “Three orcas came straight at us and started hitting the rudders. Impressive to see the orcas, beautiful animals, but also a dangerous moment for us as a team. We took down the sails and slowed down the boat as quickly as possible and luckily after a few attacks they went away… This was a scary moment.”

The encounter happened off the coast of Gibraltar, where a number of other similar attacks have recently taken place. Earlier this month, sailor Iain Hamilton detailed one such encounter following 20 other incidents reported by other sailors.

Hamilton told Justin Webb of BBC Radio 4 that he was roughly 20 miles west of Gibraltar when he felt a "light bump" followed by "a very big bump." After noticing the vibrations, he looked around and saw an orca pushing on the back of his boat and trying to bite the rudder. “They were just bumping it and bumping it and the one of them managed to take off one of the rudders,” he recalled. “The boat has two rudders, so that obviously becomes quite concerning. Then we lost the second rudder so we had no mechanism for steering the boat. … They pushed us around like a rag doll.”

While the encounter does, indeed, sound terrifying, he insisted that it was "playful" behavior from the orcas. According to the Atlantic Orca Working Group, experts have begun to notice a "new pattern of behavior" in an orca population known to feed on migrating tuna near Gibraltar.

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