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Orcas Attacked a Polish Yacht for 45 Minutes, Sinking It Off the Coast of Morocco, Tour Company Says "The crew is safe," according to the company, but the boat sank at the entrance to Tanger-Med, a Moroccan port.

By Charles R. Davis

Key Takeaways

  • A pod of orcas attacked a yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar, a tour company said.
  • The incident involving the "Grazie Mamma II" occurred on October 31.
  • The company said the orcas attacked the yacht for 45 minutes.
Joel Rogers/Getty images via Business Insider
An orca slightly breaches the water between two boats.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Orcas have gone and done it again, demonstrating that they still despise boats for reasons scientists can't figure out.

For months now, orcas, also known as killer whales, have been assaulting boats — especially, it seems, yachts — off the coasts of Spain and Morocco, sending several to the bottom of the sea.

A Polish touring company, Morskie Mile, said that's exactly what happened to one of its yachts on October 31. In a Facebook post, a spokesperson for the company said that its vessel, the "Grazie Mamma II," was in the Strait of Gibraltar when a pod of orcas targeted it. The animals, which can grow to be up to 30 feet long, attacked the boat's steering fin "for 45 minutes," the post said, "causing major damage."

"The crew is safe," the post added, but the boat itself sank at the entrance to Tanger-Med, a Moroccan port.

Scientists have offered several possible explanations for the behavior, including that orcas may be reacting to past trauma — or just having a bit of fun, such as when a pod of orcas in the Pacific Northwest spent several weeks swimming with dead salmon balanced on their heads. Whatever the cause, it's been happening for years now. Researchers have documented hundreds of attacks since 2020 — but most are "bumps," not all-out assaults.

Morskie Mile did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. But in its post, the company said it's thankful for all the memories — at least prior to encountering the orcas.

"We sailed on this yacht around the most beautiful places in Europe and the Atlantic archipelagos," the company said. "Love of the sea always wins."

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