5 May, 2023 @ 16:30
1 min read

Mayday! Pod of Orcas sink sailboat with crew of four on it prompting last minute rescue mission

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LIKE a scene from a horror movie, the crew of a sailboat had to be rescued half a mile off the Cadiz coast after a pod of aggressive killer whales tried to sink it.

Four sailors aboard the Alboran Champagne yacht made the distress call just after midnight on Thursday night near the town of Barbate.

The pack of enormous marine predators had disabled the rudder and smashed a hole in the hull.

Orcas 1
The Alboran Champagne yacht was abandoned to its fate by rescuers after it was too far under the water to be towed. Credit: Salvamento Maritmo

Upon realising that they were taking in water, the crew donned their lifejackets and prayed that the coast guard would arrive in time.

The auxiliary ship Salvamar Enif arrived on the scene to rescue the crew just as the sailboat was starting to go under.

The Alboran Champagne was so flooded that it was unable to be towed back to port, and so the boat was left adrift with a special light activated to warn other vessels in the area.

Several hours later it was almost entirely submerged under the Atlantic when a Guardia Civil auxiliary patrol boat arrived to salvage what was left of the wreckage.

Orcas 2 Credit Salvamento Maritmo
The incident took place half a mile off the coast near Barbate. Credit: Salvamento Maritmo

Orcas are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain, and they have been known to hunt a wide range of prey including fish, squid, seals, and even other whales.

Despite their name, orcas have very rarely been known to attack humans in the wild. 

However, there have been reported cases of a specific pod of orcas harassing or bumping into boats in the Atlantic Ocean west of Portugal.


Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? walter@theolivepress.es

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