June 16, 2024

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A man was attacked by an orca during a sea voyage

A man was attacked by an orca during a sea voyage

Off Scotland’s Shetland Islands, a retired German physicist was reportedly violently mauled by an orca on his boat on Monday. This is the first such incident in the North Sea.

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Wim Ruttan, 72, was fishing for mackerel on his solo trip across the sea from the Shetland Islands to Bergen near Norway, Global News reported.

It was on the back of his boat that he first saw a large black oar. Seconds later, the man came face-to-face with the massive orca, which charged towards him.

After the whale disappeared for a while following the first attack, the animal returned to the boat and mauled it two or three times before circling the ship, the pensioner explained to British newspaper ‘The Guardian’.

Rattan confirmed that the scariest moment was hearing the whale, despite the “minor bumps” the orca had caused the aluminum hull.

“The sound of the animal’s heavy breathing is terrifying,” he said.

According to Jeroen Hokentijk, a researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute, the encounter seemed “very special” because it marked the first such event to occur in the North Sea.

The Atlantic Orca Working Group, a killer whale research organization, said such incidents have tripled in the past two years, with more than 200 episodes in 2022 compared to 52 in 2020.

No one knows exactly why killer whales attack human-occupied boats.

“Maybe he just wanted to play. Or look me in the eye. Or get rid of the fishing line,” Rutten wondered.

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