THIS is the horror moment the crew of a sinking yacht watched as a pod of orcas circled their boat after being attacked in the Atlantic.
The 25-foot beasts pounced on the French boat off the coast of Portugal last week, pounding relentlessly on the vessel for 45 minutes before sinking.
The crew was sailing north of Porto when the pod of violent killer whales circled the yacht and began ramming the boat and tearing the rudder apart.
Terrifying footage shows the 12-meter vessel rapidly filling with water from damage inflicted by the relentless killer whales.
The water level rises up to the waists of the four sailors while their belongings float around them.
The video showed one of the crew members lying in the flooded cabin, desperately calling the Coast Guard for help during the horrific ordeal.
Eliott Boyard, the boat’s skipper, told TF1: “I was at the helm and there was a very big impact on the boat because five to seven orcas insisted on attacking the rudder of the boat.
“They bit into it several times until the hull gave way at the rudder level, causing a leak in the boat and then sinking.”
The sinking crew eventually managed to escape in the life raft before the boat plunged below the surface.
Luckily the whales had retreated when they escaped on the small raft.
“There was a little panic when we realized we were going to sink,” Eliott said.
“Back then we went into the water on the life raft with the orcas all around us.
“But when we got off the boat, they were gone.”
The crew of four all made it safely to shore.
Scientists have registered an increase in orca incidents along the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal.
Sailors in the area have previously been warned to stay in port at night after shocking videos showed enraged orcas attempting to capsize boats.
Crews have recounted their horrific ordeal and how they feared for their lives as the whales spent hours ramming their boats and breaking oars.
Multiple videos of the incidents were captured, showing the giant black-and-white creatures hitting boats and circling ships.
Over the past two years, more than 230 encounters with killer whales have been reported off the coasts of Spain and Portugal – from massive animals approaching boats to attacks on them.
The creatures are regularly sighted in the area as they migrate to feed on tuna that live in the Strait of Gibraltar.
In August, a pod of orcas sank a tourist boat off the Portuguese coast.
The 20-foot beasts punched a hole in the side of the ship just sailing from Sines, forcing the holidaymakers to abandon ship.
And 45-year-old Martin Evans told how he feared his ship would sink after an “onslaught” by around 30 orcas as his crew sailed near the Strait of Gibraltar.
Amid the increasing regularity of attacks, one expert suggested a harpoon strike by poachers had triggered a spate of “revenge attacks” from a rogue orca pod.
Victor J. Hernandez, author and naturalist, said illegal fishing in July led to an increasing number of collisions between the animals and passing vessels.
Hernandez believes the attacks were carried out by a group of nine to 13 orcas — led by a male named Pingu.
He 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.”
According to Hernandez, orcas have good memories – like dolphins: “Two of the youngest orcas have hit sailboats because they were traumatized by these types of vessels.
“They hit and bite the oars because it reminds them of the harpoon incident.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6627351/terrifying-moment-sinking-yacht-orcas-attacked-atlantic/ Watch the terrifying moment the crew of a sinking yacht circle a pod of orcas after they were attacked in the Atlantic