7 Nov, 2023 @ 15:30
1 min read

Orcas sink yacht off the coast of Spain: Passengers suffer harrowing 45 minute attack by a pod of killer whales

A GROUP of wild orcas have sunk a yacht in the straits of Gibraltar after a harrowing 45 minute attack. 

The incident occurred last Tuesday, October 31, after the pod of killer whales caused irreparable damage to the vessel.

According to the Polish tour operator running the voyage, the orcas “hit the steering fin for 45 minutes, causing major damage and leakage.” 

Morskie Mile, based in Warsaw, was sailing through the narrow strip between Spain and North Africa when the attack occurred. 

Despite efforts by a search and rescue team and the Morrocan Navy, the vessel could not be salvaged. 

The yacht sank off the shores of Tanger Med, a collection of ports about 30 miles northeast of Tangier. 

None of the crew or passengers were harmed in the attack, the company stressed in a Facebook post, saying all were safely on Spanish soil. 

They said: “This yacht was the most wonderful thing for all of us. Lifelong friendships were formed on board. We sailed around the most beautiful places in Europe.” 

Orca attacks have increased in recent years Photo: Mike Doherty/Unsplash

The Polish company added that it was working hard to make sure future trips, including cruises around the Canary Islands, could go ahead as planned. 

Orca attacks on vessels have more than doubled in the past two years, according to marine research group, GT Orca Atlantica. 

So far this year, the group has recorded 53 orca incidents in the Strait of Gibraltar, with 12 causing damage to vessels. 

It comes after a killer whale known as Gladys became a social media sensation earlier this year for attempting to sink boats in the Strait of Gibraltar. 

This Gladys is the oldest of three orcas being monitored by scientists after they began trying to sink boats in May 2020. 

It is believed the older whale, known as ‘White Gladys’, is teaching the younger animals to attack ships, reportedly as a result of trauma sustained when they were struck by a vessel. 


Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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