“We thought the animals were coming in to play,” said one crew member Augustin. So we let them do it and we saw absolutely no danger in their presence.” But that soon changed, because in less than 45 minutes the orca had destroyed the ship. “I walked to the back of the boat and saw that this part was submerged,” he continues. I immediately asked all other crew members to gather on the rooftop while I issued an emergency call.”
The four men were soon spotted by a nearby Swedish ship on the surface and a lifeboat rescued them. They were all healthy.
This isn’t the first time a group of orca has attacked small ships off the coast of Portugal. In August, two boats were sunk by orcas. Since 2020, more than 250 similar incidents have been reported in the region. According to researchers, they are always the same group. “It’s not normal behaviour,” Jan Haelters of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences told our newspaper last summer after several incidents. It also pertains to a limited group found only in the region. It will be fourteen animals. We don’t know the real reason behind this behavior yet, but it is possible that one of the animals had a bad experience with the sailboat and the others learned this behavior.”
Read also. Orcas attack sailboats off the coast of Galicia again: scientists puzzled
Researchers are trying to find out why the animals do this based on photos and video testimonials. He also tried to develop ways to scare animals.