An unsettling incident occurred during The Ocean Race, an international sailing competition, when two participating teams found themselves under attack by a pod of disgruntled orcas. While navigating through the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, multiple orcas approached the boats, vigorously pushing and nudging against them. They brazenly bit at the rudders and even rammed into the vessels.
No injuries reported as encounters have increased
Fortunately, both teams—Amsterdam's Team JAJO and Portugal's Mirpuri Trifork Racing—escaped the encounter unscathed, with no injuries or damages reported. Nevertheless, the incident was captured on video, documenting the terrifying spectacle.
The Ocean Race, a prestigious competition spanning six months and covering 32,000 nautical miles (37,000 miles), has reached its final leg. The leading position is currently held by the 11th Hour Racing Team from the United States. As the race approaches its culmination, an in-port race on July 1 will serve as the thrilling grand finale.
The incident took place off the coast of Gibraltar, an area that has recently witnessed a series of similar attacks. Earlier this month, sailor Iain Hamilton shared his own encounter, adding to the tally of approximately 20 reported incidents by other sailors.
Adding to the alarm, a recent occurrence took place in the North Sea off Shetland, where an orca repeatedly collided with a yacht. This marked the first incident of its kind in the northern waters, further highlighting the expanding range of these confrontations.
Authorities have observed a concerning rise in the number of interactions between vessels and orcas in the Strait of Gibraltar and Portugal. In the month of May alone, there have been over 20 reported incidents, indicating a growing trend. Disturbingly, some boats have suffered significant damage, with three of them even sinking. This behavior seems to be spreading among various family groups of killer whales, intensifying the issue.