According to Spanish media reports, orcas have again sunk a sailing yacht near Gibraltar. It is the seventh incident of this kind. It is unclear whether the animals just want to play or whether these are attacks after the orcas had a negative experience.

The two crew members of the 15-meter yacht “Alborán Cognac” initially noticed dull knocks against the hull on Sunday morning about 26 kilometers off Cape Spartel in Morocco at the southern entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, reported the Spanish newspaper “El País”, the portal ” 20Minutos” and other media on Monday, citing the Spanish maritime rescue service. The rudder blade was damaged. When water entered the boat, the sailors made an emergency call.

A helicopter took off from Spain and the nearby tanker “MT Lascaux” was asked to come to the aid of the stricken ship, the newspaper wrote, citing the Ministry of Transport in Madrid. An hour after the emergency call, the shipwrecked people were safely taken on board by the tanker. However, the yacht could not be salvaged and it sank shortly afterwards. It was the seventh such incident since 2020.

Experts who study the behavior of the intelligent animals believed the yacht was rammed by orcas, part of a group of 37 of the marine mammals that live between the north of the Iberian Peninsula and the Strait of Gibraltar in the south, according to the newspaper reported further. It is not known why the orcas have repeatedly targeted the boats since 2020. Although people always talk about “attacks”, researchers prefer to speak of “interactions” because the reason for this behavior of killer whales, which is only observed in this area of ​​the sea, is not known. So it is possible that the animals just wanted to play. But it could also be a reaction to a negative experience with a ship.