A BRIT has told of her night of terror after killer whales repeatedly rammed into her yacht leaving it flooding with water.
April Boyes, 31, is said to be the latest victim of a witch-hunt led by the vengeful White Gladis, the notorious female orca who has been tormenting sailors around the coast of Gibraltar.
April Boyes, 31, was en route to Gibraltar when killer whales began attacking her yacht[/caption]
The menacing creatures repeatedly rammed into the boat[/caption]
The relentless bumps eventually pierced the hull, leaving water pouring in[/caption]
She captured the moment the deadly mammals began bumping the boat while menacingly rising out of the water to make their presence known.
A crew member can be heard screaming in horror as the threatening thuds continue as the orcas circle the vessel.
The pod of predators were reportedly White Gladis’ apprentices, who have been “taught” to attack and sink boats.
Scientists fear a “critical moment of agony” such as a collision may have sparked her aggression, and speculate she may now be spurring fellow killer whales on to target vessels.
Video shared by April shows how the killer whales wreaked havoc on the boat for over an hour while she was trapped onboard off the coast of Spain.
She worriedly says: “‘Jesus, oh my God,” as the orcas pound into the yacht and inflict significant damage as the safety of sunlight faded.
The creatures’ constant bashes eventually destroyed the rudder and pierced the hull, with April suggesting it looked “like they are biting it apart.”
The footage then takes another worrying turn as the killer whales continue to target the boat while aided by the cover of darkness.
They manage to rip a significant hole in the hull, seeing the boat to flood as the crew panic further.
Water has completely enveloped the yacht’s engine room, forcing one sailor to frantically try and get rid of it with a bucket.
Another is heard telling Spanish authorities: “We need assistance immediately, we are sinking, we are sinking.”
Officials sent a helicopter as well as a rescue vessel to save the four-member crew in the early hours of Thursday.
The 66ft-long vessel, which was sailing under a British flag, was then towed to the port of Barbate, in the province of Cadiz, for repairs.
April said she had initially been thrilled to spot the group of orcas before the voyage took a stomach-churning turn.
She explained: “What started off as a seemingly unique encounter ended with orcas breaking off our rudder from the boat, then proceeding to tear bits off the boat for an hour.
“A huge hole in the gull meant we had water ingress to other parts of the boat and the engine room and I can honestly say it was a scary experience.
“We are all safe, I’m feeling grateful for the coastguard.”
The yacht ambush follows at least 20 orca attacks on small vessels in the Strait of Gibraltar – also known as Orca Alley – this month alone.
The huge animals can measure 20 to 26 feet long, meaning they have been able to inflict thousands of pounds of damage on boats and even sink them altogether.
Experts believe the uptick in attacks is a revenge campaign led by White Gladis, who is already suspected of sinking two yachts.
Orcas are well known for being sociable creatures and can therefore learn easily from one another – including tactics to take down sailors.
The whale attacks have reportedly been going on since May 2020.
In September of that year, after 29 orca attacks were reported, Spanish authorities banned boats from setting sail from the country’s northwestern tip.
Another 16 incidents had been reported by November 2020, of mostly young orcas interfering with boats, in many cases damaging the rudders.
A killer whale, named White Gladis, has been terrorising boats off the coast of Gibraltar[/caption]
One crew member frantically tried to bucket the rising water out[/caption]
The orcas destroyed the rudder during their latest reported revenge campaign[/caption]