Boat Captain Says Orcas Ambushed His Boat Twice

Dan Kriz

Dan Kriz spoke to Newsweek to say that he was recently confronted by orcas but it wasn’t the first time his boat was confronted by a pod of the killer whales.

A boat captain has said that his vessel was the target of orcas not once but twice while he was in the Strait of Gibraltar, according to reports.

Dan Kriz spoke to Newsweek to say that he was recently confronted by the killer whales but it wasn’t the first time his boat was confronted by a pod of orcas.

Kriz said that the first attack was in 2020, when he and his crew were delivering a yacht through the Strait of Gibraltar, which runs between Spain and Morocco, CBS News reported.

"I was surrounded with a pack of eight orcas, pushing the boat around for about an hour," Kriz said, adding that the ship's rudder was so damaged that they had to be towed to the nearest marina.

Kriz said that April of this year, it happened again near the Canary Islands, which are Spanish islands off the coast of Northwest Africa, CBS News reported.

At first, Kriz says he thought they had been hit with a wave, but when they felt a sudden force again, he realized they weren't just feeling the wrath of the water, CBS News reported.

"My first reaction was, 'Please! Not again,'" Kraz told Newsweek. "There is not much one can do. They are very powerful and smart."

Kriz posted video of the attack on social media.

“This is video from our delivery crew of Orcas biting off both rudders on our @bali.catamarans 4.8 on delivery in the Straights of Gibraltar. Check the rudder it it’s mouth! This is crazy!!” he wrote.

Kriz, who has 20 years experience captaining yachts, says he believes the attacks were orchestrated by the orcas and they knew what they were doing.

"First time, we could hear them communicating under the boat," he told Newsweek. "This time, they were quiet, and it didn't take them that long to destroy both rudders. ... Looks like they knew exactly what they are doing. They didn't touch anything else."

The attack on the rudders lasted about 15 minutes. But when the crew started to head for Spain's coast, they came back.

"Suddenly, one big adult orca started chasing us. In a couple of minutes, she was under the boat, and that was when we realized there was still a little piece of fiberglass left and she wanted to finish the job," Kriz said. "After that, we didn't see them anymore."

Kriz is just one of several people to experience encounters with orcas off the coasts of Portugal and Spain in recent months, CBS News reported.

In the past two years, orca research group GTOA found that incidents have more than tripled, with 52 interactions in 2020 and 207 in 2022, CBS News said.

Biologist and wildlife conservationist Jeff Corwin told CBS News the behavior "highlights the incredible intelligence" of the whales.

"What we're seeing is adapted behavior. We're learning about how they actually learn from their environment and then take those skill sets and share them and teach them to other whales," he said.

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