While yachting in Spain, a British couple recorded the moment their boat was attacked by three killer whales.
In general, the largest member of the family of dolphins, the killer whale, or orca, is not considered to be a threat to humans. However, their mastery to take down huge marine animals is undeniable.
They are apex predators, at the top of the food chain, and while they would hunt on almost any animal they spot in the sea, in the air over the water, or along the coastline, they are not hunted by any other animal.
Their diverse diet mainly consists of different groups of marine animals, fish, sea birds, and penguins.
Recently, a British couple made a recording of the moment their boat was attacked by three killer whales, while yachting in Spain.
The three killer whales spotted the couple, Graeme and Moira Walker, while they were sailing on their yacht with their friend Stephen Robinson off the coast of Cape Finisterre.
As reported by BBC Scotland, Graeme, from Helensburgh, Argyll, and Bute, saw the orcas only when one of them hit his 45ft yacht with huge force.
While sailing off the coast of Cape Finisterre on their yacht, three killer whales targeted Graeme and Moira Walker and their friend Stephen Robinson
In the attack that lasted for 45 minutes, a 1.5sq ft part had been bitten out of the fiberglass rudder of the yacht.
Graeme reported that he wasn’t really sure what was going on, but then one of them appeared on the surface, on the left-hand side of the boat, to take a breath of air.
“None of us have ever been through anything like this before.”
He maintains that the yacht was initially attacked by two juvenile orcas, and a third, larger one, soon came to the scene. After the retired chief financial officer contacted the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, they advised him to turn the engine off and keep the sail down.
Mr. Walker called the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) in Finisterre who advised him to ensure the sail was down and the engine off.
The operator believed that the orcas would probably lose interest after 10 minutes, but unfortunately, they continued attacking the 12-tonne boat for 45 minutes.
Regardless of the precautionary measures taken, Graeme explained:
“The boat would literally spin through 90 degrees when the animals came in. It was as pronounced as that. When they actually bit on the rudder and started shaking the rudder the wheel was spinning from side to side. You could not have touched it. You would have broken your arms.”
His biggest fear was that the yacht would take water on board as a result of the damage caused by the animals, which would have left them stuck 720 miles into a 1,600-mile journey.
Now, the repairing of the yacht will take weeks.
Yet, he added that during the entire time, everyone on board stayed calm, and “there was no screaming or bawling or anything like that.”
Only when one of the killer whales rammed his 45ft yacht, Graeme, from Helensburgh, Argyll, and Bute, spotted the animals
This is the latest of many attacks on vessels by killer whales, that happened off the Spanish coast.
Due to this, the Spanish transport ministry has banned boats of 15m or less from sailing between Cape Prioriño Grande and Estaca de Bares point in Galicia for a week.
The killer whales attacks have been confusing scientists.
Recently, another incident happened, while Halcyon Yachts were taking a 36ft vessel to the UK from A Coruña in northern Spain when they were hit by a killer whale over 15 times. As a consequence of the attack, the vessel lost steering and had to be pulled back to the port.
During the 45-minute attack, a 1.5sq ft bite had been taken out of the rudder of the yacht
Nearly at the same time, a warning was issued on the radio after killer whales were spotted near Vigo, where two other clashes had taken place recently.
Alfredo López, a biologist from the Coordinator for the Study of Marine Mammals in Galicia, explained that every year in September, killer whales make their way up the Spanish-Portuguese coastline.
At this time it is not revealed whether the same pod of killer whales is behind all of these attacks but Dr. Ruth Esteban, a Gibraltar orca expert, told the press that it has a small probability that different groups would perform such attacks organized in the same manner.