Will Whales Attack Boats? (Both Killer Whales and Others)

The orca has a romantic image associated with folklore and myths, implying that it is simply a part of their culture. Many incidences of people and killer whales building ties and bonds have been documented throughout history, ranging from helping one another hunt to just meeting out at sea.

It’s seductive to assume that, unlike other species, killer whales and humans share some type of spiritual bond. And, as absurd as it may appear, maybe there is something to this. 

Orcas are highly clever animals with the ability to think in a variety of ways. Killer whales have been spotted recognizing themselves in a mirror, holding rites comparable to funerals for their deceased, displaying intricate communication signals, and even attempting to replicate human language.

Even though they appear to be ordinary inhabitants of the animal world, their intelligence places them far ahead of the majority of other creatures.

It’s certainly feasible that they’ve developed a sense of humanity and have chosen to see us as allies rather than enemies.

Crews sailing off the coast of Galicia, Portugal, and Spain, have recorded 22 encounters with orcas (commonly known as killer whales), with a third resulting in varying degrees of damage to their boats.

Boats with defective steering systems have been reported in a few situations. A working group of Portuguese and Spanish experts, including marine scientists and political figures, has recognized three orcas in 61 percent of the encounters after reviewing images and video recordings.

Two of the three animals, called Black Gladis, White Gladis, and Grey Gladis, appear to have sustained injuries between June and August, according to underwater images. Some of the damages may have been from orcas attempting to snare tuna from long fishing lines, while others may have resulted from contact with vessels. 

Because of the noise and action, killer whales are drawn to the sterns of boats, according to the investigators. However, they claim that the latest encounters are “unprecedented” because of the damage done to the yachts.

Do Whales Tip Boats Over?

Recent accounts have surfaced of whales breaking directly onto boats, causing considerable damage to the ship and, in some cases, injuries to the passengers.

The most famous whale encounter, however, occurred about two centuries ago and resulted in the deaths of thirteen sailors. Whaleship accidents are a typical occurrence in maritime waterways around the world, yet accounts of such incidents are inconsistent.

Captains and personnel of massive oceangoing vessels often go unreported by whale strikes.

The hunting ship Essex was attacked two times by a furious sperm whale the size of the ship in 1820. The crew took shelter in three tiny boats as the ship sank.

The survivors battled famine, dehydration, and deprivation for 95 days. One boat went missing, and the sailors’ fate is unknown.

Eight of the original crew members remained largely due to cannibalism, and on one occasion, they even took lots and killed one of their own to gorge on his blood and body. Three crew was left on a barren island and were rescued as well.

Can Whales Sink Boats?

While the sinking of the Union in 1807 was caused by an unintentional nighttime accident with a sperm whale, the Essex event, which occurred 30 years earlier, has been the only known reported occurrence of a whale purposefully holing, attacking, and sinking a ship. These two events, on the other hand, are unlikely to be as unusual as they look. 

Male cetacean aggression observations imply that head-butting is a fundamental activity and that the bigger melons or spermaceti organs are a clear result of sexual dimorphism which can be developed as a battering ram to hurt an enemy in such attacks.

How Often Do Whales Attack Boats?

As we have discussed before that they do not attack much on the boats. Sometimes for the fun or getting the interaction with humans they come near to the boast and while jumping, there are chances that they can hit the boat and damage it. Otherwise, you will not find them attacking directly on the boat. 

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