Yacht sinks after being rammed by orcas in Strait of Gibraltar

A sailing yacht has sunk in Moroccan waters in the Strait of Gibraltar after being rammed by an unknown number of orcas, Spain’s maritime rescue services said. Two people onboard the vessel, Alboran Cognac, were rescued by a passing oil tanker, after the incident at 0900 local time (0800 BST) on Sunday. It is the latest in a series of orca rammings of vessels around the Strait of Gibraltar over the past four years.

Scientists are unsure about the exact causes of the behaviour, but believe the highly intelligent mammals could be displaying “copycat” or “playful” behaviour.

Spain’s maritime rescue service said the two passengers reported feeling sudden blows to the hull and rudder, causing water to seep into the vessel. The yacht was left adrift and eventually sank.

Orca rammings in the Strait of Gibraltar – one of the busiest waterways in the world, with approximately 300 ships crossing daily – and off the Atlantic coast of Portugal and north-western Spain, have become increasingly common over the past four years.

Credit: bbc.com


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