Home News Killer whales sink another ship near Iberia, worrying sailors ahead of summer

Killer whales sink another ship near Iberia, worrying sailors ahead of summer


Summer is coming, which means orcas will be hanging out near the Strait of Gibraltar, which is bad news for sailors.

Two people were rescued after their boat sank after an attack by a pod of orcas on Sunday, Spain’s maritime rescue agency said. This is the fifth such sinking in recent years in the waters off the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa.

Rescue authorities said the animals approached the Alboran Cognac, a roughly 50-foot sailboat, about 14 miles off Cape Spartel, Morocco, on Sunday morning. The ship’s crew reported the animals slammed into the hull, damaging the rudder and causing a leak.

Rescue services said a nearby tanker quickly moved towards the ship, evacuating the two sailors and taking them to Gibraltar. The ship drifted and Moroccan authorities reported it eventually sank.

It is the first ship to sink in the waters this year following a killer whale-related incident.A pod of killer whales crosses the Strait of Gibraltar and nearby waters Troubled Sailors and Interested Marine Biologists, they are studying the population. Orcas have disrupted dozens of voyages in these heavily trafficked waters since 2020, ramming ships hard enough in some cases to cause serious damage.

Last November, Orca slams yacht’s rudder It lasted 45 minutes, causing the crew to abandon ship and the ship sank near the Mediterranean port of Tangier.

The group is more likely to be seen in busy shipping lanes around the Gulf of Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar between April and August. Spanish government stated Sailors have spotted a number of orcas there in recent weeks, according to a press release.

The researchers don’t know why the pods target ships, but they speculate the behavior is a form of play by curious apex predators. This interaction has become so frequent that it is now a transnational issue, involving scientists and officials from Spain, Portugal and Morocco. online, Anxious sailors gather together Sharing advice on navigating “Orca Alley,” biologists are tracking the movements of orcas and testing ways to stop them.

In an advisory issued by the government, the government advised that if an orca is encountered, vessels should not stop but should move to shallow waters near the coast.

But the number of incidents may be declining: researchers Atlantic Killer Whale Working Group explain on Monday The number of orca interactions with ships dropped by about 40% between January and May compared with similar periods over the past three years.

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