A group of killer whales have attacked and sunk a cruise ship in southwestern Europe. This is the fourth time the killer whale population in this area has exhibited the above behavior within the last 2 years.
A representative of the Polish tourism company Morski Mile shared on Facebook that the medium-sized sailboat Grzy Mamma they owned was attacked by a group of killer whales (number unknown) for about 45 minutes on October 31.
Killer whales (orcas) repeatedly collided with the yacht’s hull, causing severe damage and flooding the ship’s hull. The Moroccan navy helped the boat to safety, but it sank as it entered the country’s Tanger-Med port. All passengers were safely evacuated to the rescue ship.
The unusual attack above is the latest example of one of the killer whale’s many worrying new behaviours, which demonstrate the exquisite intelligence of this deadly predator.
Since 2020, killer whales have regularly harassed ships in the Strait of Gibraltar. It is a narrow strait located between Spain and Morocco, connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, and the sea surrounding the Iberian Peninsula.
It is believed that these offshore raids come from a group of killer whales led by a female named White Gladys. White Gladys may have become aggressive after suffering trauma from a previous boat collision.
The whale’s unusual behavior then spread to other individuals, they became increasingly adventurous and began attacking ships more than before.
So far, at least three boats have been sunk by whales in the area. Of these, the most recent event occurred in May 2023 and the previous two events occurred in 2022. In June 2023, reports continued to record a 15-minute attack that left the yacht’s hull breached.
Researchers suspect that killer whales are learning to attack each other’s boats. according to page biologyEyewitnesses said they saw killer whales “teaching” other individuals of the same species how to cause maximum damage to boats.
So far only one other boat has been attacked outside the Strait of Gibraltar and its surroundings. A killer whale single-handedly attacks a yacht in Scotland, more than 3,200 km from the site of the incident. However, scientists say that it is not possible to directly link this attack to the above attacks.