Sailor Left Stranded After Orcas Throw His Yacht Around “Like A Rag Doll,” Rip Off Both The Rudders

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Man, all the orcas must have been out there training during the offseason or something.

Just a few weeks ago, we brought you the story of a pod of orcas ramming a British couple’s yacht for over an hour, damaging the rudder and leaving the boat limping back to shore.

Well now it’s happened again – and this time it’s left a sailor stranded after the whales finished the job and disabled the boat.

Iain Hamilton was sailing in the Strait of Gibraltar, about 20 miles off the coast, when a pod of orcas began attacking his yacht:

“There was a very large whale pushing along the back of the boat, trying to bite the rudder. To begin with there was one big one and four smaller whales.

They were just bumping it, bumping it, and then one of them managed to take off one of the rudders. The boat has two rudders so that obviously becomes quite concerning.

Then we lost the second rudder so we had no mechanism for steering the boat and the whales were in charge of the boat, and they pushed us around like a rag doll.”

Hamilton seems to think that the whales weren’t aggressive, but rather were playing with the rudders as the boat moved throughout the water.

Regardless, the attack left the boat – and Hamilton – stranded in Gibraltar due to the damage caused to the rudders. And it’s actually the 20th such incident involving the killer whales in the region in the past month alone, something scientists are working to understand.

According to a biologist with the Atlantic Orca Working Group, the behavior may be due to past trauma caused by boats in the region:

“The orcas are doing this on purpose, of course, we don’t know the origin or the motivation, but defensive behavior based on trauma, as the origin of all this, gains more strength for us every day.”

And it all may stem back to one orca in particular, a traumatized female named White Gladis, who may have had a previous run-in with a boat or been trapped by illegal fishing:

“That traumatized orca is the one that started this behavior of physical contact with the boat.”

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that the orcas are starting to fight back. And who can really blame them? I mean, we’re the ones invading their homes…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock