The incident occurred on the coast of Cape Spartel, in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, when the boat Serena IV cruised between Europe and Africa.
The owner of the ship, Sergio Rodman, said that the crew was traveling from Italy and stopped in Gibraltar to continue their journey to the island of Lanzarote in the southwestern part of Spain in the Canary Islands.
Antonio Busse, 40, a German captain of the ship, said that at night the crew heard a strange noise and rushed to the deck. At first they thought that the ship had hit the container, but they quickly realized that killer whales were attacking the boat.
According to Busse, four large killer whales approached the boat. Travelers tried to drive away the animals, threw various objects at them, shouted, but to no avail. The killer whales ignored the noise, continued to attack the boat, and eventually broke the steering wheel.
As a desperate measure, one of the crew lit a flare to force the animals to leave. This strategy worked, and a group of aggressive killer whales finally left the ship alone. The Daily Mail published a video showing a pod of killer whales attacking the sailboat Serena IV.
Buss noted that the situation was frightening: in his entire life, traveling the "seven seas", he had never seen anything like it. The captain noted that "killer whales are very smart and it's not uncommon to steal tuna from fishing boats when they're hungry, but this rudder failure situation is unprecedented."
Despite a partially broken rudder, the boat was able to anchor in the port of Tarifa in southern Spain.
According to biologist Alfredo Lopez, this group of killer whales, whose age could not be identified from the video due to poor video quality, may be juveniles, as they, unlike adults, are lazier, reckless and have more contact with people.