Brit couple horrified as boat attacked and bitten by three hungry killer whales

A Brit couple was horrified when their boat was chased, attacked and bitten by three hungry killer whales.

Graeme Walker, his wife Moira and their friend Stephen Robinson were targeted early on Tuesday morning off the coast of Spain.

Mr Walker, from Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, felt a sudden jolt when he was at the helm of the 48ft yacht before spotting one of the beasts.

Talking about their 45-minute ordeal, he said: "We realised they were after the boat."

Mr Walker said the group prepared the life raft as the Promise 3 boat was rocked and spun around.

They later discovered a 1.5sq ft chunk had been bitten out of the fibreglass rudder.

Speaking from La Coruna, where the yacht is undergoing repairs, Mr Walker said: "I felt a thump on the boat and the helm was pulled out of my hand.

"I was not really sure what was happening, then one of the animals broke the surface, on the left hand side of the boat, for breath.

"You never know how these things are going to play out. None of us have ever been through anything like this before.

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He believes two juvenile orcas were responsible for the initial attack but a third one, which was "a lot bigger", soon arrived on the scene.

Mr Walker called the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) who advised him to ensure the sail was down and the engine off.

The operator said the orcas would probably lose interest after 10 minutes – but they continued to attack the 12 tonne boat for a whole 45 minutes.

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Mr Walker said: "The boat would literally spin through 90 degrees when the animals came in. It was as pronounced as that.

"When they actually bit on the rudder and started shaking the rudder the wheel was spinning from side to side. You could not have touched it. You would have broken your arms."

His main fear was that a broken rudder could potentially have put a hole in the boat and resulted in it taking on water.

Mr Walker added: "The good thing was it was light.

"If it had happened two hours earlier it would have been pitch dark, which would have been even more unpleasant."

At the time of the attack, the Walkers and Mr Robinson were 720 miles into a 1,600 mile journey from Almerimar in southern Spain to the Clyde coast of Scotland.

Orcas are normally in the area where the attack happened to feed off tuna – but this is the first year they have been know to target boats.

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