The following article, WATCH: Terrifying Moment Orcas Attack Boat And Destroys Its Rudder, was first published on Flag And Cross.
A lone sailor has told of the terrifying moment his yacht was attacked by killer whales which ripped off his rudder and left him fearing for his life.
Phep Philouceros, was forced to broadcast a Mayday distress alert – only used by sailors if they are in a life-threatening situation – during the attack.
A five-strong pod of orcas followed his 30-foot yacht as it sailed just off the coast of Cape Vincent in Portugal bound for Royan, France, on Monday.
In a terrifying attack, part of which Phep caught on video, two of the huge creatures peeled off and started attacking his boat.
One can been seen ‘stalking’ the yacht and attacking the rudder, which was destroyed “in one minute,” forcing Phep to send out the Mayday.
The 70-year-old said he also heard the hull of the boat crack but didn’t noticed any water coming in.
Frenchman Phep was sailing 400 meters (1312.34 feet) (a quarter of a mile) south of Cape St. Vincent in around 25 meters (82 feet) of water.
Sailors have been advised to stick in shallow water of 20 meters (65 feet) or less in depth to avoid attack by orca.
Many sailors use acoustic underwater ‘pingers’ or set of firecrackers to scare off the animals.
He said: “People don’t realize how quickly these things happen.
“I didn’t have time to use a pinger to make noise or fireworks.”
Phep said he tried to stop his engine or reverse in an attempt stop the attack, but neither worked.
He said: “The rudder was destroyed in one minute and pulled out. They also rammed blows on the twin keels of the boat
“In total there were five orcas but only two attacked the boat.
“I think there were young orcas. They were about six or seven meters long. They were neither adults or babies.”
“The attack wasn’t too violent. The boat moved, it rotated but didn’t capsize.
“If the orcas really wanted to sink the boat, they could have done it easily. I don’t think it was their intention.”
Phep immediately sent out a mayday and a rescue quickly responded to his call.
He said: “I set off my emergency beacon so that other boats could come to my rescue. Within 10 or 15 minutes a boat had arrived.”
Phep’s boat was towed back to Sagres, where he still is.
He now has to return to Lagos where he will be assess the damage caused by the orcas and fix the rudder.
Phep has 55 years of sailing experience and says this is the first time an orca has ever attacked a boat he was on.
Earlier this year scientists said they believed that orcas in the Mediterranean area had ‘learned’ to attack boats.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
(Additional reporting provided by Talker News)
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