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It appears that Orcas are attacking boats off the coast off Spain. I find this interesting as they are exhibiting the same behaviour that they use when hunting seals and other prey. It is obvious isn't it? No one makes the connection in the numerous reports about this.

Usually, with sharks, some expert will quickly step forward to say that humans are not the prey of sharks, that sharks make a mistake or are just curious when biting humans to shreds. But it all seems to be a mystery with the orcas who have attacked the boats.

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Scientists have been left baffled by incidents of orcas ramming sailing boats along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts.

In the last two months, from southern to northern Spain, sailors have sent distress calls after worrying encounters. Two boats lost part of their rudders, at least one crew member suffered bruising from the impact of the ramming, and several boats sustained serious damage.

The latest incident occurred on Friday afternoon just off A Coruña, on the northern coast of Spain. Halcyon Yachts was taking a 36ft boat to the UK when an orca rammed its stern at least 15 times, according to Pete Green, the company’s managing director. The boat lost steering and was towed into port to assess damage.

Around the same time there were radio warnings of orca sightings 70 miles south, at Vigo, near the site of at least two recent collisions. On 30 August, a French-flagged vessel radioed the coastguard to say it was “under attack” from killer whales. Later that day, a Spanish naval yacht, Mirfak, lost part of its rudder after an encounter with orcas under the stern.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/13/killer-whales-launch-orchestrated-attacks-on-sailing-boats

 

Quote

On 29 July, off Cape Trafalgar, Victoria Morris was crewing a 46ft delivery boat that was surrounded by nine orcas. The cetaceans rammed the hull for over an hour, spinning the boat 180 degrees, disabling the engine and breaking the rudder, as they communicated with loud whistling.

It felt, she said, “totally orchestrated”. Earlier that week, another boat in the area reported a 50-minute encounter; the skipper said the force of the ramming “nearly dislocated the helmsman’s shoulder”.

At 11.30 the previous night, British couple Beverly Harris and Kevin Large’s 40ft yacht was brought to a sudden halt, then spun several times; Harris felt the boat “raise a little”.

Earlier that evening, Nick Giles was motorsailing alone when he heard a horrific bang “like a sledgehammer”, saw his wheel “turning with incredible force”, disabling the steering as his 34ft Moody yacht spun 180 degrees. He felt the boat lift and said he was pushed around without steering for 15 minutes.

It is not known if all the encounters involve the same pod but it is probable. Dr Ruth Esteban, who has studied the Gibraltar orcas extensively, thinks it unlikely two groups would display such unusual behaviour.

 

If you read the sub-titles you get the impression that one orca broke off the rudder and then chomped it.

 

 

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Could an orca not sink a yacht? I remember reading in one of those child factbooks that orcas could punch through ice with their heads. They can swim at 30MPH and, being toothed, each has a waxy melon in front of its eyes. Woodpeckers have fatty padding behind their beaks to enable them to tap at trees without getting a headache, so maybe it is possible. Yacht hulls are presumably fibreglass/composite or thin sheets of aluminium or stainless steel?

 

Toothed_whale_echolocation_01.png

The profile of an Orca's head means it could ram with it's front as there is no prominent beak to get in the way.

2.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Edited by Nippy
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1 minute ago, Nippy said:

Could an orca not sink a yacht? I remember reading in one of those child factbooks that orcas could punch through ice with their heads. They can swim at 30MPH and, being toothed, have melons in front of their eyes. Woodpeckers have fatty padding behind their beaks to enable them to tap at trees without getting a headache, so maybe it is possible. The hulls are presumably fibreglass/composite or thin sheets of aluminium or stainless steel?

 

Melons?

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I find it very had to believe that [supposedly] highly intelligent orcas could bash themselves against wooden or steel or whatever structures, again and again, on the utterly mistaken notion that these big solid structures are actually edible flesh and blood seals. How stupid would they have to be?

It's like a bloke drilling into a hand grenade because he thinks it's really an egg.

WTF??!!

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35 minutes ago, DocH said:

I find it very had to believe that [supposedly] highly intelligent orcas could bash themselves against wooden or steel or whatever structures, again and again, on the utterly mistaken notion that these big solid structures are actually edible flesh and blood seals. How stupid would they have to be?

It's like a bloke drilling into a hand grenade because he thinks it's really an egg.

WTF??!!

Perhaps you should watch the films of them bashing ice floes with a seal on top. Ice floes are very hard too. 

They probably know there are humans in the boat, or at the least that there are warm-blooded prey-sized animals in the boat. 

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2 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Perhaps you should watch the films of them bashing ice floes with a seal on top. Ice floes are very hard too. 

They probably know there are humans in the boat, or at the least that there are warm-blooded prey-sized animals in the boat. 

Ok, perhaps cleverer than the guy with the hand grendade after all. Have there been instances of the warm-blooded men falling overboard and immediately being swallowed by the expectant orcas?

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Just now, DocH said:

Ok, perhaps cleverer than the guy with the hand grendade after all. Have there been instances of the warm-blooded men falling overboard and immediately being swallowed by the expectant orcas?

Supposedly no known direct attacks on humans by wild orcas. So maybe - MAYBE, if you end up in the water after they've bashed the boat, they'll ignore you because once you're there they'll know you're not a seal. I don't fancy trying it out though......

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1 minute ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Supposedly no known direct attacks on humans by wild orcas. So maybe - MAYBE, if you end up in the water after they've bashed the boat, they'll ignore you because once you're there they'll know you're not a seal. I don't fancy trying it out though......

So what you're saying is...          [you'll have to imagine her off channel 4]

"Orcas think boats are crewed by seals"?

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