Captaincy of Olhão launches warning to navigation after interaction between orcas and sailboat

Polish flag sailboat was without a rudder and had to be towed to Culatra

Photo: Ocean Vibes (Facebook)

A group of orcas left without a rudder «a sailboat flying the Polish flag, with two crew members on board», this Sunday afternoon, «about 2 nautical miles from the Armona bar», revealed to the Sul Informação Commander Silva Algarvio, captain of the Port of Olhão, who issued a warning to navigation in this area, in force until today, the 27th.

This was one of two interactions between orcas and sailboats that took place on Sunday, off Ilha da Culatra.

“Around noon, there was also an interaction with a French sailboat, with seven people on board, but they took all the security measures and the orcas ended up going their way”, the same source told our newspaper.

Less fortunate were the crew of the sailboat flying the Polish flag, who were helped by the vessel from the Estação Salva-Vidas de Olhão and ended up having to be towed to the shelter port of Culatra, due to the damage that their vessel suffered.

On that same day, a boat belonging to the sea-tourist company Ocean Vibes revealed on Facebook that it had seen a “family of 10 to 12 orcas” next to Culatra. In the same publication, the company advised sailors to avoid the zone.

On the part of the captaincy, a «navigation notice» was launched, associated with «the usual advice on what to do whenever there is an interaction: turn off the engines and the probe, keep the VHF transmitting in case of an emergency situation and leave the free rudder», according to Captain Silva Algarvio.

Since 2020, interactions between orcas and sailboats, off the Algarve, but also in Costa Vicentina and Alentejo, have multiplied and there are many reports of occurrences, a phenomenon that is already being studied.