Report: Sailors Turn To Heavy Metal To Fend Off Rowdy Orcas
November 20, 2023, 2 weeks ago
A raucous pod of orcas have been slamming sailboats around off Spain for the past three years, frustrating yacht owners and occasionally sinking their boats, reports The Maritime Executive. In retaliation, some of these beleaguered boaters have tried to ward off the assaults by broadcasting heavy metal music with underwater speakers - but like teenagers enjoying a good concert, the notorious orcas continue to rock the boat.
Charter yacht operator Florian Rutsch operates around the Iberian Peninsula, and has tried out the government-recommended response - turn on the engine and motor off fast - as well as some of the homegrown ideas, like scattering sand in the water. Heavy metal does not appear to work, he told the New York Times. During a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar earlier this month, Rutsch ran into a pod of rudder-slamming orcas and decided to add mood music. He and his crew turned on a playlist dubbed "Metal for Orcas" featuring some of the heavier bands in modern metal. Whether the orcas found the music annoying or inspiring, they did not find it much of a deterrent, and they quickly disabled Rutch's steering by banging their heads into his rudder.
Read the full report at The Maritime Executive.