Killer Whales have been attacking boats for some unknown reason. Boats were checked attacked by two or three younger whales.
According to El Pais, researchers may have an answer to the orcas over-aggressiveness to boats recently. It is observed that two of the pod might be seriously injured, and that may be the cause of their attacks. Another thought is whether these whales were hurt by sea vessels. Sharks tend to defend themselves like humans when threatened, reported Newsweek. Orcas are alpha predators that work their way through complex problems, just like people.
Scientist Alfredo López, who is part of the Coordinator for the Study of Marine Mammals (CEMMA), gave a simple explanation to orca aggression. They are not acting on revenge or any overt and intentional aggressive tendencies. He pointed out that they are being careful.
Ramming of boats and the rudders damaged is considered intentional by some people. No such complex plans are hatched by these intelligent mammals, erasing fears that they are launching intentional mischief.
Being afraid of boat attacks is normal but the orca have not done intended harm to humans, Lopez assured a fearful public.
The earliest reports of orcas assaulting boats started early July and till September. Sailors have reported multiple ramming by orcas, which includes boats and yachts. A Spanish naval yacht had a section of the rudder removed when severe killers converged on it.
A boat owned by Graeme Walker said on September 22 his boat was aggressively struck by three orcas. Each time they will ram the boat, it would do a 90-degree turn from the force of the hit.
Each of the three orcas had a turn, which appears that the action is nothing random. At one point, they bit on the rudder and shook it. The rudder wheel was erratic, going in different directions. But they held back since holding onto it would be unsafe.
The Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda sent out a bulletin to all sailboats that 49-footers or less should be out of the water. They need to avoid the point from Cabo Prioriño Grande and Punta de Estaca de Bares where orcas are actively assaulting vessels, mostly smaller boats and yachts. This directive kept humans on seacraft away from the orcas, noted The Guardian.
The pod assaulting the boats were aware that they were medium-sized sailboats that were less than 15 meters. It was announced by the authorities that boats this size was likely to get picked on, unlike bigger ones. Furthermore, the advice is a precaution for sailors. It is advised to avoid the area from two to eight nautical miles from the coastline. Speeds of five or 9 knots, whether wind or sail will attract the pod in that area, cited Head Topics.
One of the sailors, Justin Crowther a British National, said that his boat was nearly overturned by the ramming. He was fortunate for getting rescued before that happened, but it was a terrifying experience for him.
Lopez said that killer whales attacking boats is increasing but it is still nothing to worry about. Despite the looks of some damage which the orcas are still holding back intentionally.