Killer whales make sailboats rudderless in A Coruña

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Killer whales attack

Once again orcas have made themselves heard in Spain. In the Galician province of La Coruña the killer whales left the sailing boat named ‘Leviathan’ adrift with three crew members on board.

The orca incident occurred on Wednesday at 4.25 pm, approximately five miles northwest of the Illas Sisargas (A Coruña). The crew then raised the alarm and requested assistance. According to Spanish Coast Guard sources, as reported to Europa Press, the Leviathan was no longer visible, so the rescue service mobilised a Red Cross boat, which took them to Malpica de Bergantiños.

Statement from scientists

Scientists explain the strange behaviour of orcas, which has occurred regularly since the corona pandemic, as follows. An individual orca would have learned at some point to bump into the submerged parts of the sailboats for some reason. This behaviour is then imitated by younger individuals in the group, although it would be a kind of game or ritual.

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Orcas dangerous?

Although the orca does not look dangerous, it is one of the most dangerous animals in our ocean. It is at the top of the food chain and has no natural enemies. They are not called ‘killer whale’ for nothing. Orcas hunt in groups and therefore they can easily handle large prey. All kinds of fish are on the menu, but seabirds, turtles and sea lions are also eaten by them. Although the animals generally do not exhibit aggressive but rather playful behaviour towards humans, the consequences of their actions are clearly dangerous. This is not the first sailboat incident in which a boat becomes rudderless. In some cases in the Strait of Gibraltar they have even sunk.

Location of the orcas

The groups of killer whales that have learned this strange behaviour usually live in the waters of Cádiz, but there are seasons when they migrate to the northwestern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula.

Also read: Orcas attack two sailing boats near Gibraltar during the Ocean Race

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