Orca reportedly rams into yacht off coast of Shetland

An orca has reportedly rammed into a yacht which was sailing from Lerwick to Bergen, The Guardian has reported.

It is believed to be the first such instance of an orca attacking a boat in the North Sea.

Dr Wim Rutter, from the Netherlands, was said to have been sailing solo on Monday when the orca hit the stern of the boat while he was fishing for mackerel.

There have been recent reports of orcas attacking boats in the Strait of Gibraltar and near to Portugal.

The annual Bergen-Shetland race got under way today, with 43 yachts expected to sail into Lerwick – with some arriving tomorrow (Thursday).

They are then due to sail back to Bergen on Sunday.

Organisers of the event have been approached for comment.


Add Your Comment
  • John Lancaster-Smith

    • June 21st, 2023 19:28

    We sailed from Baltasound to Florø on Monday evening. Approximately 19nm out we altered course and passed about 1500m astern of a pelagic trawler, at their request. As we were passing through their wake we noticed a pod of orcas (approximately 9-10) heading straight for us. At their closest they were approximately 5 meters from our quarter.
    They made no attempt to interfere with our boat and quickly resumed their previous activities.

    • Adrian Jardin

      • June 23rd, 2023 9:27

      Wow, what a fantastic trip and sighting. I see sunset at your destination is around 11:30 pm atm, so quite a long “evening” available for sailing. I’d love to do such a trip.


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