A British couple from Cambridge had a terrifying experience when a pod of killer whales attacked their sailboat near the shores of Morocco. Janet Morris and Stephen Bidwell were left feeling vulnerable and frightened as the orcas surrounded their boat, repeatedly ramming into it.
The incident took place during a sailing course, as Janet and Stephen were preparing for their night-watch duty. They were abruptly awakened by loud banging noises on the hull and the alarmed shouts of the crew, alerting them to the presence of the orcas.
Rushing to the deck to assess the situation, the couple witnessed a shocking sight. The pod of orcas relentlessly pursued debris in the water, resembling sponges, for over an hour. The boat endured constant bumping and collision with marine mammals.
The relentless chase finally came to an end, but the boat’s steering had been compromised as a result of the attack. This forced the couple and the crew to navigate back to shore, battling strong winds and large waves along the way. Fortunately, they managed to reach calmer waters, distancing themselves from the orcas and finding a place of safety.
Janet, a business consultant, expressed her disbelief at the rare encounter, stating that they felt like “sitting ducks” during the attack. Despite maintaining a calm facade, the fear was palpable underneath. The crew even discussed the possibility of using the life raft and made sure to secure their valuables and passports.
Stephen, a photographer, emphasized the importance of remaining calm to prevent panic from spreading among the crew. He explained that the orcas enjoy the thrill of the chase and ideally, they would have stayed still, but the challenging weather conditions made it impossible, according to The Mirror.
Both Janet and Stephen, who are qualified to operate and lead sailing boats, were participating in a week-long sailing course to accumulate experience. Despite the harrowing ordeal, they expressed their determination to continue with the course, viewing it as an opportunity to enhance their skills and be better prepared for similar situations in the future.
The incident occurred on May 2, approximately seven miles off the coast of Tangier, in northwestern Morocco. As they returned to the port, the couple discovered debris in the water, which turned out to be fragments from their boat’s rudder.
While shaken by the encounter, Janet and Stephen remained resolute, viewing it as a chance to gain proficiency and valuable experience. They are determined to use this incident as a lesson for future endeavors on the open sea.