VIDEO: Sailor ‘attacked’ by orca whales
A sailor from New Milton, Hampshire has said he felt he was “caught up in a horror film” when a pod of 30 orca whales repeatedly attacked the yacht he was crewing on.
Nathan Jones, 27, said the 25ft long mammals, which can weight five tonnes each, attacked the vessel for more than two hours, according to The New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times.
“At one point it all went quiet, and I thought they had finally gone,” said Jones. “Then I looked out to sea and spotted them about two miles away coming back. It was scary, a bit like that moment in Jaws when the shark returns.”
Jones had left Ramsgate with two other crew to deliver the yacht to its owner in Lefkas, Greece, when the incident happened near the Gibraltar straits.
“We first tried motoring really slowly away from them, but they just kept coming. We had the automatic pilot on, but it went off because the whales were either biting or hitting the rudder.
“Coastguard advice in our situation is to turn off the engine and echo sounder and take the sails down. We then just had to sit it out.”
When the whales appeared to be calming down, the crew ran up the sails to “try and creep away”, according to The New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times.
When they were two miles away from the pod, they turned on the engine and “limped into Gibraltar” where a big chunk of the rudder was found to be missing.
This is not the first incident reported of orcas ‘attacking’ boats off the Spanish coast. It’s thought by scientists that the orcas are just taking precautionary steps to protect themselves and that these attacks are not malicious or meditated.