TARIFA – In a new drama at sea in the Strait of Gibraltar, a killer whale pod carried out an attack and sunk a sailing yacht.
This happened on October 31 during a rescue operation in which all persons on board were secured. The Polish travel organisation Morskie Mile, known for its tourist sailing routes, announced on social media that their sailing ship Grazie Mamma II was attacked by a group of orcas for 45 minutes. The attack caused serious damage and leaks to the ship’s rudder.
Rescue attempts fail
Despite heroic efforts by the captain, crew, and rescue teams, including local tugboats and the Moroccan Navy, the ship sank near the entrance to Tangier Med harbour. The crew has now returned safely to Spain.
Search for explanations
Since July 2020, killer whale attacks on sailing boats have been taking place in the Strait of Gibraltar and Galicia. Experts and researchers are still looking for an explanation for the behaviour of the cetaceans in these waters.
The organisation Circe, which is involved in the conservation and research of marine mammals, is working with the Ministry for the Ecological Transition to mark the orcas. This measure hopes to monitor the movements of the animals and warn sailors to avoid these areas.
Previous attacks caused only minor damage and required ships to be towed back to ports. However, this is the first reported case of a sailing yacht being completely sunk by killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar.