Spain: why are killer whale attacks on boats increasing?

Nina Droff / Photo credit: Michael Nolan / Robert Harding RF / robertharding via AFP

In southern Spain, killer whales attacked the boat of French navigator Sébastien Destremau. More fear than harm for the skipper and his crew, even if this kind of incident is more and more frequent in the area. However, these cetaceans would not seek to attack the man, according to a specialist.

The pictures are impressive. Those of killer whales attacking a skipper’s boat in southern Spain. More and more interactions in this area. Fortunately, the crew has nothing, but the sailboat is still damaged.

“Absolutely terrified”

While sailing off the coast of Spain, heading for Brittany, navigator Sébastien Destremau saw several dozen killer whales appear just a few meters from his sailboat. “A group of eight orcas rushed towards us, attacked the rudder of the boat, giving it snouts which still shook the ship quite a bit, until they broke part of the rudder. J I was absolutely terrified because they are huge beasts that are between seven and eight meters long”, recalls the skipper.

After an hour of repeated charges, the navigators manage to escape. This kind of incident has become frequent in this area. Several boats were loaded in the same way. A game for these huge beasts, according to Eric Demay, cetacean specialist. “We know that all the animals, their children play and are sometimes almost violent. It seems that they are young people who come to play. I think I see on the video that there is an adult who is not far and who, he does not touch the boat. It still seems obvious that it is not an attack on the man, “says the specialist.

Research is ongoing to better understand these behaviors.

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