Orcas Continue Reign of Terror, Sink Yacht in Strait of Gibraltar

A nearby oil tanker rescued the passengers onboard the yacht.

Orca surfacing in the ocean with dorsal fin visible
George D. Lepp via Getty Images
Orca surfacing in the ocean with dorsal fin visible

After a wave of attacks last year, orcas have reigned terror on a yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar.

As reported by The Guardian, a 49-foot yacht, Alboran Cognac, was attacked by an unknown number of orcas, also known as killer whales, on Sunday, May 12. The vessel was carrying two people, who said that they felt several blows to the hull and rudder of the boat. Eventually, the sudden blows were enough for the boat to start taking on water. They contacted rescue services and were rescued by a nearby oil tanker, who took them to Gibraltar. The yacht sank after the passengers were rescued.

The Strait of Gibraltar saw a string of orca attacks last year. Iain Hamilton spoke about one of his encounters with the animals last year and said they were "almost playful" when they targeted his boat's rudder. Around the same time, one captain said that a pod of killer whales had ambushed his boat on several occasions. He added that the attacks forced many to abandon their boats. The attacks even impacted the Ocean Race last year, as multiple participants reported encounters with orcas throughout the race.

The latest attack has inspired a wave of memes, with people suggesting that these killer whales have clearly had enough of boats impeding on their space. Many are even rooting for the animals as they take back the ocean.

we’re so back https://t.co/NZpzLRarye pic.twitter.com/GBwqP5HStU

— RK Jackson | Atlanta 🛸 (@theerkj) May 14, 2024
Twitter: @theerkj

“Yeah, we sunk that shit, and we’re gonna do it again.”- the Orcas https://t.co/gPWyG3PPuM pic.twitter.com/QZYtNgSKk8

— Hadley Sheley (@HadleySheley) May 14, 2024
Twitter: @HadleySheley

i wish the orcas knew how many of us were rooting for them

— Allium (@snacklesbian) May 14, 2024
Twitter: @snacklesbian

https://t.co/XUFbksJOav pic.twitter.com/slBSDNZFyb

— I Smoked BBL Drizzy (@BlackKnight10k) May 14, 2024
Twitter: @BlackKnight10k

In a recent news release, the Spanish government said that the group of orcas responsible for the attacks are most likely to happen between the months of April and August. Sailors have spotted several killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar and nearby waters in recent weeks, but researchers still don't know why the animals are targetting the boats.

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