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Sailor Recalls Attack By Killer Whales: “Threw Yacht Around Like Rag Doll”




Sailor Recalls Attack By Killer Whales: 'Threw Yacht Around Like Rag Doll'

There are 35 Orcas living in the region around Gibraltar.

A British sailor has said that his boat was thrown around like a “rag doll” by a pod of killer whales – also known as Orcas – in the Strait of Gibraltar. Speaking to BBC Radio 4‘s ‘Today‘ programme on Monday, Iain Hamilton said he was left marooned in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory on Spain’s south coast, for a few days. There were five Orcas involved in the attack that took place when Mr Hamilton was sailing 20 miles off the coast of the British territory.

“I noticed a fin then noticed a light bump and then a very big bump and looked round and there was a very large whale pushing along the back and trying to bite the rudder,” he told BBC Radio 4.

“To begin with there was one big whale and four smaller whales and they were just bumping it and bumping it and then one of them managed to take off one of the rudders – the boat has two. Then we lost the second rudder so we had no mechanism of steering the boat and the whales were in charge of the boat and they pushed us around like a rag doll,” Mr Hamilton added.

According to Independent, more than 250 boats have been damaged, and three of these sunk, since the first attack in the region in 2020.

There are 35 Orcas living in the region around Gibraltar and 15 of them are believed to be responsible for these attacks. The outlet also said that a female Orca called White Gladis was the one to “teach” others to attack the passing vessels after it collided with a boat.

Orcas are the largest members of the dolphin family and belong to the suborder of toothed whales known as odontocetes.

These killer whales have an average lifespan of 30 to 50 years in the wild. They are well-known for their black and white colouring, but can have varied looks, behaviour, communication styles and diets depending on the area they are found.

They usually swim at around three to four miles per hours, but can reach 40 mph in short bursts.

Orcas hunt everything from fish to walruses, seals, sea lions, penguins, squid, sea turtles, sharks, and even other kinds of whales.

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