May 26, 2024


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Orcas sink a boat in the Strait of Gibraltar;  Two passengers were rescued

Orcas sink a boat in the Strait of Gibraltar; Two passengers were rescued

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Orcas have attacked and sunk a boat in the Strait of Gibraltar, prompting Spanish officials to issue a warning to sailors should they encounter one of the giant marine mammals.

On Sunday, killer whales sank a 10-meter boat with two passengers on board. The passengers, who were able to inform the authorities in time, were rescued after receiving assistance from a nearby oil tanker and the Moroccan authorities. Salvamento Maritimothe Spanish Maritime Rescue Service, in a press release.

The boat sank near Cape Spartel, a promontory in Morocco near the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, the canal that connects the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Sea to Atlantic Ocean Between Spain and Africa.

The country’s Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility has prepared a list of things to do in case boats or yachts encounter a pod of killer whales in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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How to Handle an Orca Encounter

According to the an agencyPeople who encounter killer whales while on board should do the following:

  • Do not approach the side of the boat. Move to a place in the middle of the bowl where they will be protected from sudden movements.
  • If whales attempt to interact with the boat, do not stop the boat or turn off the engine. Move towards the coast or shallow water.
  • Report the event to officials, even if the boat was not damaged.
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Why do whales attack sea ships?

Over the past four years, hundreds of incidents have occurred between killer whales and boats or yachts.

The interactions remain mysterious, Alfredo Lopez, a biologist at the University of Santiago, previously told USA TODAY.

However, whales’ rationale for attacks can be as innocent as terrifying curiosity or as nefarious as targeting ships they view as competition for food.

Graphics: Why do killer whales attack boats and sometimes sink them?

Contributing: Ramon Padilla, USA TODAY

Julia is a feature reporter for USA TODAY. She has covered various topics, from local businesses and government in her hometown, Miami, to technology and pop culture. You can follow it X, formerly Twitter, Instagram And Tik Tok: @juliamariegz