Killer whale attacks spread to UK waters for first time after orca rams boat 'again and again' | The Sun

A SAILOR has told how a killer whale “circled” his boat before ramming it “again and again” while in UK waters.

The incident in the North Sea off Shetland on Monday is the first-ever case in northern waters.

Dr Wim Rutten, 72, had been fishing for mackerel while traveling solo from Lerwick to Bergen in Norway when he spotted the orca.

He says it hit the stern of his seven-ton boat “again and again” sending “soft shocks” through the hull.

He said: “What I felt [was] most frightening was the very loud breathing of the animal.”

He added: “Maybe he just wanted to play. Or look me in the eyes. Or to get rid of the fishing line.”

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It comes as orca ramming attacks are becoming more and more common.

In May, a pack of killer whales reportedly tried to sink a boat filled with Brit tourists for over an hour.

Janet Morris and Stephen Bidwell, from Cambridge, were enjoying a sailing course off the coast of Morocco when they spotted the group of orcas.

Some of the deadly mammals then started bumping the boat – an attack which continued for an hour.

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But even though they crew were faced with high winds and big swells, they managed to navigate the boat to safety.

Business consultant Janet, 58, said: "I couldn't believe it when I saw them – it's extremely rare. We were sitting ducks.

"We were amazingly calm but underneath we were thinking, 'Oh my god'.

"Because everyone was calm it felt okay, but we were petrified, it wasn't until afterwards that we talked about being very scared."

This comes after a similar incident which took place in June 2021 – where a British crew of a luxury yacht began fearing for their lives as a pod of 30 killer whales circled them.

The 25ft orcas slammed into the vessel’s hull for two hours — and one even swam away with a chunk of the rudder.

In August last year a group of alarmed sailors also spotted a gang of violent young male orcas who had been battering sailing boats in terrifying attacks to "practice hunting".

And in November, the crew of a sinking yacht watched a pod of orcas circling their boat after being attacked in the Atlantic.

The whales surrounded the French boat off the coast of Portugal and relentlessly smashed into the vessel for 45 minutes before it sank.

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