What to do during an orca encounter

In Yachting Monthly, Andy Pag explores why orcas have been damaging yachts off Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar, and how to protect your boat:


Being chased, bumped and gnarled at by a pod of orcas was “a mix of horror and love,” says Yara Tibirica who encountered the animals while sailing her 35ft live-aboard catamaran, Slughunter.

“It’s a rare privilege to see such mighty and majestic orcas in the wild but when they are threatening your home the sight is double-edged.”

Yara and her husband Jon Wright had decided to stay 1.5 miles offshore on their passage from Cadiz to Gibraltar in July this year, after reading the trickle of information on social media about encounters with this semi-resident pod in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Since the start of the year, orcas have been nudging boats to bring them to a halt, and gnawing at their rudders, leaving sailors shaken and stranded, in many cases relying on salvage tows to get them back to shore…

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