An unknown number of orcas have sunk a yacht after ramming it in Moroccan waters in the strait of Gibraltar, Spain’s maritime rescue service has said, in the latest in a series of similar incidents involving the animals.

The vessel, Alboran Cognac, which measured 15 metres (49ft) in length and carried two people, encountered the highly social apex predators, also known as killer whales, at 9am local time on Sunday.

The passengers reported feeling sudden blows to the hull and rudder before the boat started taking on water. After alerting the rescue services, a nearby oil tanker took them onboard and transported them to Gibraltar. The yacht was left adrift and eventually sank.

The incident is the latest example of recurring orca rammings around the Gibraltar strait that separates Europe from Africa and off the Atlantic coast of Portugal and north-western Spain. Experts believe them to involve a subpopulation of about 15 individuals given the designation “Gladis”.

  • wjrii@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Gladis is latin for ‘sword.’ There’s a militia of a dozen angry boat-sinking orcas with a badass SpecOps nickname, preying on the material resources of the yachting class.

    When do we post this one to wholesome news?

  • Kaput@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Theory that just poped in my mind, orcas have been hurt by large boat are now attacking small ones to kill them before they grow.

    • Jo Miran@lemmy.ml
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      2 months ago

      There is a theory I read that said that it was indeed a boat that accidentally killed a female’s infant. She attacked and figured out that hitting the rudder would make them stop and then she proceeded to teach the pod.

      Another I read was that it started as juvenile Orcas just fucking about and now it’s turned into a preferred pastime. AKA, Orca hooligans.

      Both seem anecdotal and not scientifically provable though.

      • Flying Squid@lemmy.worldM
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        2 months ago

        The play thing seems to be the favored hypothesis by biologists at present.

        And I kind of love it. Rich people lose their boats because orcas think they’re fun to sink.

      • dogslayeggs@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        While whale watching in Sea of Cortez, they were saying one small pod of juvenile orcas are straight up dicks. They will attack anything and everything, including taking down blue whales.

        I can absolutely see this as hooliganism.

        • Jo Miran@lemmy.ml
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          2 months ago

          They were able to trace the start of the behavior down to a single female. All the pods that are doing this are related to her. The “why” did they start is the mystery.

    • dmtalon@infosec.pub
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      2 months ago

      From all the reports I’ve seen so far, they are in fact not attacking humans, just the boats. Unless this has changed.

      • TxzK@lemmy.zip
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        2 months ago

        too bad. I thought they were literally eating the rich

      • Bakachu@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        I just read that as well. Or there’s just no witnesses. Also read something that they stop attacking if the boat stops.

        • dmtalon@infosec.pub
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          2 months ago

          Well I’m interested in this world (sailing/ living on a sailboat) so I’ve been following fairly close. I don’t believe there’s any known non aggressive way to stop them. Stopping hasn’t been shown to help that I’ve heard/seen

  • dlpkl@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    The orcas gave us enough time bring down the bourgeoisie. Now they’re taking things into their own flippers.

  • fritobugger2017@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    A 49ft sail boat is not exactly a yacht. The orcas need to move up to bigger targets like the mega yachts of the oligarchs. Time to arm the orcas.

    • JayleneSlide@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      There is no standard definition, though the term generally applies to vessels with a cabin intended for overnight use. To be termed a yacht, as opposed to a boat, such a pleasure vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and may have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yacht

      That said, I’m all for training and arming the cetaceans.

  • AbouBenAdhem@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    The vessel, Alboran Cognac, […] encountered the highly social apex predators

    The highly social orcas were clearly aware that the only true Cognac comes from the Atlantic coast, not the Alboran Sea.