SAILORS at popular British holiday resorts have been warned to stay in port at night after shocking videos showed enraged orcas attempting to capsize boats.
There are increasing reports of killer whales attacking boats off the coasts of Spain and Portugal.
Over the past two years, more than 230 orca interactions have been reported, ranging from massive animals approaching boats to being attacked.
The creatures are regularly sighted in the area as they migrate to feed on tuna that live in the Strait of Gibraltar.
However, boat attacks are uncommon and rarely attack humans.
The Coordinator for the Study of Marine Mammals (CEMMA), which studies marine mammals in northern Spain, issued the warning on Facebook.
The statement said: “Orcas have traveled north in Galicia and there have been multiple interactions with sailboats, both during the day and at night.
“We would therefore like to advise you to be careful in this area (between the Sisargas Islands and Cape Estaca de Bares) and, if possible, to spend the night in port to reduce the additional risks associated with a night rescue and a towing sea.”
They also said they would try to visit affected boats and that recordings or photos of interactions could aid in their study of orca behavior.
The warning comes after an orca pod sank a tourist boat off the Portuguese coast earlier this month.
The 20-foot beasts punched a hole in the side of the ship just sailing from Sines, forcing the holidaymakers to abandon ship.
Marine expert Victor Hernandez has suggested they could be “revenge attacks” by a renegade orca group for illegal poaching.
He believes the attacks are being carried out by a group of nine to thirteen orcas led by a male named Pingu.
Hernandez said: “Sailors in the area, who know Pingu’s capsule very well from its markings, have claimed they were harpooned in July.
“The crew of the illegal fishing boat were probably startled to see them coming so close.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5989332/holiday-warning-videos-show-orcas-attacking-boats/ Bank holiday warning as dramatic videos show flocks of angry orcas attacking UK hotspots and attempting to capsize boats