Orcas sink boat off Portugal coast

Published on November 9th, 2022

For over two years, Scuttlebutt has been sharing incidents of orcas ramming sailing boats along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. But so far their ‘playfulness’ has led to survivable damage, but now the tally includes a sunken boat as reported by the Daily Mail.


This is the astonishing moment seven orcas destroyed a sailing yacht and sank it in 45 minutes, with the terrified crew fleeing for their lives on a life raft near Portugal.

Footage from November 1 shows the orcas circling and bumping the vessel, called Smousse while crew members Elliott, Augustin, Roman and Corentin were on board.

Augustin said that when they heard the boat shaking and a loud noise at the back of the yacht, they realized they were surrounded by orcas.

As the attack continued, the boat eventually began to crack because of the force of the orca’s jaws and the killer whales ripped a hole in the hull of the 40-foot boat.

Augustin went to the back of the boat and realized it was fast filling with water and the men had to flee. The crew members put out a distress call and gathered on the top of the boat as it sank around 14 miles west of the port of Viana do Castelo.

They were all uninjured and rescued by a Swedish boat nearby and a search and rescue team from Viana do Castelo Lifesaving station arrived. The yacht had sailed on October 30 from the Galician port of A Coruña.

“We believed they would play a while, maybe the boat would not be so damaged,” said Augustin. “This is why we did not radio for help at first, we believed it would be over, and we would be able to assess damage.”

For photos and video, click here.

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