British man in ‘terrifying’ killer whale attack

British man in ‘terrifying’ killer whale attack
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British man in ‘terrifying’ killer whale attack off the coast of Portugal

Brit maritime man David Smith was sailing off the coast of Portugal in October when his 45-foot yacht was rammed by a pod of orcas – commonly known as killer whales. Smith’s job is to transfer new luxury boats to their owners, and on this journey he was travelling with crew mates from France to Gibralter.

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Smith recalls that shortly before sunset, the crew thought they spotted a school of dolphins approaching the boat, but he saw the distinctive black-and-white colouring of the orca. The whales swam below the boat and butted it from below for hours, says Smith.

“It was continuous,” Smith told the BBC. “I think there were six or seven animals, but it seemed like the juvenile ones — the smaller ones — were most active. They seemed to be going for the rudder, the wheel would just start spinning really fast every time there was an impact.”

Because they were out of range to call for help, the crew had to wait out the terrifying ordeal until the attack stopped suddenly, two hours later.

“I don’t frighten easily and this was terrifying,” Smith told the BBC.


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