YACHTS have been banned along a 100 kilometre stretch of Spain’s northern coast after a series of attacks by Orcas.
Also known as Killer Whales, the animals have approached very close to several vessels – including a Spanish Navy vessel – over the past few weeks.
Now Spain’s Ministry of Transporthas issued a week-long ban on boats under 15 metres long, starting from last night (Tuesday, September 23).
The restrictions apply to boats between the capes of the Prioriño Grande and la Punta de Estaca de Bares.
They will be allowed to leave port but must head straight out to open sea without lingering near the coast of Spain’s north-west corner.
Authorities say several sailing boats have been attacked by Orcas, with some needing coast guard help after their rudders were damaged.
The ministry has not ruled out extending the ban to take account of the sea creatyres’ migratory routes.
In one incident naval yacht ‘Mirfak’, a 12-metre long catamaran, was on its way to a regatta 3.7 kilometres from the Galician coastline when it attracted the attention of the curious mammals.
The whales circled the boat for a number of minutes, passing close to the catamaran’s hulls and swimming underneath the sailors.
In one of the passes, one of the six-metre long giants tagged the boat’s rudder, causing damage.