25 May 2023: Off the Coast of Spain

Orca whales severely damaged a sailing boat off the coast of Spain, according to local maritime rescue services. This incident is one of dozens of orca attacks on vessels recorded so far this year off the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. In this latest incident, a group of orcas broke the rudder and pierced the hull after ramming into the sailboat Mustique which was en route to Gibraltar. The crew contacted Spanish authorities for help, a spokesman for the maritime rescue service said. This incident follows 20 interactions in the month of May alone in the Strait of Gibraltar between small boats and orcas. Earlier in May, another sailing yacht, Alboran Champagne, had a similar impact from three orcas half a nautical mile off Barbate. The ship was completely flooded and left adrift to sink. The Spanish Transport Ministry advises that whenever ships observe any alteration in the behavior of orcas, such as sudden changes of direction or speed, they should leave the area as soon as possible and avoid further disturbance to the animals during the maneuvers.