2 Ocean Race boats have close encounter with killer whales
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Shortly after the Rhode Island-based Eleventh Hour racing team bowed out of the seventh leg of the Ocean Race, two other teams had a chance encounter with a pod of killer whales near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea.
The JAJO racing team shared video of their crew off the Straits of Gibraltar when killer whales begin circling their vessels.
An onboard reporter filmed the encounter, both on deck, and below the water with a 360-degree camera.
Footage shared from the team shows a killer whale approach the boat and begin attacking the rudder.
The whales can then be seen surfacing and swimming towards the yacht again.
Officials said the area around Gibraltar is becoming well known for what some are calling “orca attacks” on boats, where an individual or pod of orcas repeatedly ram into a boat’s hull or rudders.
In some cases, boats have been significantly damaged – at least three to the point of sinking.
JAJO crewmembers said the incident set them back from second place to fourth, but they’re determined to keep pushing forward.