Credit: Whale & Dolphin Conservation

Orcas Sunk Another Boat in the Strait of Gibraltar

Those darn killer whales are at it again.

Those darn killer whales are at it again. Spanish authorities announced on Tuesday that two people had to be rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar after orcas sunk their boat.

According to the statement, an unknown number of orcas attacked the 10-meter-long vessel dubbed the Alboran Cognac on May 12 about 14 miles from Cape Spartel, the Moroccan town at the entrance of the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the two people were able to contact a search and rescue team and were later picked up by an oil tanker before their boat sank.

Last summer, there were multiple incidents in which orcas attacked ships. According to reports, they would attack and sink boats in various ways, including bending the rudder or just slamming their giant bodies into them. While the "how" is known, many are left wondering why.

According to recent data, there have been nearly 700 interactions between orcas and ships in the area since 2020. Some speculate that the orcas are simply having fun or exacting some sort of revenge, but experts say they are less certain.

Dr. Katie Surrey, who studied human-wildlife interactions at Arizona State University, told Outdoors.com last year that orcas could do significantly more damage than they do when they attack boats, but they often fixate on the rudder instead.

"And once the boat stops moving or they have disengaged the rudder sufficiently, they tend to leave almost immediately. Comparably, if they had some ulterior motive of destroying the boat entirely, that likely wouldn't be the case," Surrey said.

To avoid orca attacks in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spanish authorities recommend that you follow routes close to the coast and exercise "extreme caution" between May and August, when orcas spend time in the area.