Reports of aggressive killer whales
Ocean Navigator|January- February 2021
Orcas have reportedly attacked sailboats recently off Spain and
Edward Lundquist

Orcas have battered sailboats off Spain and Portugal and the behavior of these large marine mammals has baffled experts. Sailors along Spain and Portugal’s Atlantic coastlines have seen a recent series of puzzling incidents involving apparently aggressive orcas.

While orcas are not known to attack humans, they can cause damage to boats. In a series of incidents along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts between Gibraltar and Galicia, groups of orcas have been recorded swimming near sailboats and other vessels, and in some cases acting together in such a way as the people on those boats thought themselves to be in grave danger.

The Spanish maritime search-and-rescue agency, Salvamento Maritimo, reported multiple sailing yachts have been damaged by encounters with orcas.

According to The New York Times, the Spanish Ministry of Ecology recorded 13 orca encounters since mid-August off the coast of Galicia alone.

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