A scary killer whale attack that sank a yacht left everyone asking this bone-chilling question

May 17, 2024

Whales are the most intelligent animals living in the ocean.

Something in nature is going horribly wrong.

And a scary killer whale attack that sank a yacht left everyone asking this bone-chilling question.

Killer whales sink a nearly 50-foot yacht in the Mediterranean Sea

A 50-foot-long yacht sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar – between Spain and Morocco – was attacked by an undetermined number of killer whales.

The two crew members on the Alboran Cognac felt something slamming into the boat’s hull and rudder.

Eventually, the yacht began to take on water from the damage.

They put out a distress call to Spanish and Moroccan maritime rescue services as their yacht slowly began to sink into the Mediterranean Sea.

The crew members were equipped with GPS locators that allowed a rescue helicopter to retrieve them.

After several hours, the Alboran Cognac disappeared beneath the surface of the ocean.

The helicopter transported the two crew members to a nearby oil tanker.

Attacks from killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar – where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea meet – have been on the rise in recent years.

The Alboran Cognac became the fifth boat the killer whales have sunk in the last three years.

And there’ve been more than 500 reported encounters by ships with them.

Between May and August is the peak time for attacks in the region and naval authorities are now warning sailors to steer clear of certain sections of the ocean.

The killer whales have learned that they can disable a ship by ripping its rudder off.

Sailors report seeing the whales teaching others in their group how to do it.

No one has been killed or injured by them so far. 

Why are the killer whale attacks happening

Scientists and researchers are still trying to determine where this surge in aggression from the killer whales came from.

The attacks are believed to be committed by the same group of about 40 whales.

University of British Columbia professor and director of Marine Mammal Research Andrew Trites said that the attacks began happening in 2020.

“Nobody knows why this is happening,” Trites told CBS News. “My idea, or what anyone would give you, is informed speculation. It is a total mystery, unprecedented.”

Theories abound as to what is making the killer whales attack ships.

CIRCE Conservación Information president Renaud de Stephanis speculated that the whales like to rub their face on the ship’s propeller.

“What we think is that they’re asking to have the propeller in the face,” de Stephanis told NPR, adding that when the engine is turned off on a boast, “they get kind of frustrated and that’s why they break the rudder.”

Orca Behavior Institute Monika Wieland Shields believes that revenge for a past trauma could be a possibility.

“I definitely think orcas are capable of complex emotions like revenge,” Shields said. “I don’t think we can completely rule it out.”

Other scientists speculated that it’s a form of play for the whales.

No matter the reason, sailing in the Strait of Gibraltar just became more terrifying after they began to sink ships.

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story. 

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