"My first reaction was, 'Please! Not again.'"

Maritime Madness

A yacht captain whose vessels have twice been attacked by the same pod of orcas has some interesting ideas about how these putatively anti-capitalist killer whales keep getting away with it.

In a new interview with Newsweek, a delivery skipper named Captain Dan Kriz who works with the company Reliance Yacht Management, said that he first encountered these odd orcas — who have made headlines in recent weeks for continuously attacking yachts — back in 2020 in the Strait of Gibraltar, their now-infamous hunting grounds.

"I was sailing with my delivery crew through the Strait of Gibraltar delivering a yacht when I was surrounded with a pack of eight orcas, pushing the boat around for about an hour," Kriz described of that first altercation. "We were one of the first boats experiencing this very unusual orcas' behavior."

Flash forward to April 2023, when the captain and his crew were once again at the mercy of the sea monsters.

"We felt like we got hit bad with a wave, but with the second hit, we realized that the same situation from 2020 was happening," Kriz said. "My first reaction was, 'Please! Not again.'"

Orc Attack

Having been menaced by the same orca pod twice now, the captain has a unique look into their trajectory as they continue their anti-yacht campaign in the Strait of Gibraltar — and he has ideas about what's going on with them.

"First time, we could hear them communicating under the boat," he described. "This time, they were quiet, and it didn't take them that long to destroy both rudders."

"After about 15 minutes, they left." Kriz said. "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. After that, we didn't see them anymore."

Indeed, that adult female is at the heart of many theories about these orcas that have captivated headlines in recent months.

As Newsweek previously reported, some people believe that she is seeking revenge from being injured by boat rudders in the past — a belief that is leading some captains and crews to arm themselves against the unruly cetaceans.

In spite of being attacked by them twice and saying that he thinks the orcas know "exactly what they were doing" because they "didn't touch anything else" aside from the rudders, however, Kriz is not among those who think the orcas need to be shot or harmed in any way.

"Bottom line," the captain said, "is we are in their territory."

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