HomeWorld NewsSailors unveil new weapon against orcas as beasts try to sink ships – with crews now blasting them with HEAVY METAL | The Sun
Sailors unveil new weapon against orcas as beasts try to sink ships – with crews now blasting them with HEAVY METAL | The Sun
SAILORS have taken up blasting thrash metal music out at sea in a new effort to ward off deadly orca attacks.
For years, seafarers have had their boats ambushed by the apex predators but some are now joining forces to crank their ongoing battle with the mammals up a notch.
Florian Rutsch, a German sailor who often sails off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, told The New York Times that he's been desperately searching for a way to deter the killer whales.
After hours of scouring sailors' forums on the internet, he thought he hit a jackpot.
Rutsch read that blaring heavy thrash metal music from underwater speakers may be the trick to scaring off the killer creatures and had to give it a go.
In recent years orcas have started to frequently target boats in the vicinity of the Strait of Gibraltar and other areas surrounding the Iberian Peninsula.
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Experts aren't entirely sure why the apex predators have started attacking in these regions but some marine biologists believe a notorious orca dubbed White Gladis taught members of her highly intelligent species how to take revenge after she was involved in a collision with a vessel a few years back.
Even though the exact reason behind the relentless attacks remains unclear, sailors are now becoming desperate for an antidote – leading Rutsch to attempt the metal music method.
Through his research, the sailor came across a shared Spotify playlist, called Metal for Orcas, specially curated by other sailors.
The headbanging playlist included songs aptly titled The Blood of Power, Infinite Terror, Stretched and Devoured, and Dead but Still Alive.
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While Rutsch was out at sea in November, he and his crew tried out the musical hack on a pod of killer whales who were slowly surrounding his boat.
With high hopes, the sailor plunged his underwater speakers into the sea and blasted the thrash tracks.
Unfortunately, the killer whales succeeded in their attack, damaging the boat's rudders and disabling the steering function.
Rutsch's boat had to be towed back to shore by Spanish authorities who came to his rescue, according to the Times.
The German sailor's encounter is just one in a long string of recent incidents involving orcas attacking boats.
Earlier this month, a pod of killer whales attacked a boat in the Gibraltar Strait, sinking the yacht in the fourth incident of its kind in just two years.
The orcas relentlessly pummelled the boat's rudder and damaged the vessel beyond repair.
The ambush is believed to have come from a notorious pod of whales led by ringleader White Gladis which has been apparently attacking sailors for at least three years.
Orca attacks on boats travelling through the Strait of Gibraltar – also known as Orca Alley – were first reported in 2020.
These ambushes, which range from orcas simply approaching boats to actively interfering with them, have repeatedly occurred in the stretch of water between Spain and Morocco.
One such attack happened just months ago when a 50ft yacht was attacked by four killer whales in the same waters.
Another, in August, even saw a tourist boat rammed for an hour.
The last three years have seen the number of attacks worryingly rise.
In 2022, there were 207 interactions between orcas and boats off the coast of Portugal and Spain.
This is up from 197 in 2021 and 52 in 2020 according to GT Atlantic Orca.