Killer whale attacks boat, steals anchor in Alaska

By Ben Hooper  |  July 27, 2017 at 12:35 PM
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July 27 (UPI) -- An Alaska man taking his son and some friends out in his fishing boat captured video of a killer whale that stole his anchor and attacked his boat.

Victor Littlefield said he took his 14-year-old son and two of the boy's friends out on his 33-foot aluminum boat Sunday and they were anchored to fish near Little Biorka Island when there was a feeling of impact and the boat pitched to one side.

Littlefield said he initially feared the attacker was a great white shark, but he spotted the orca in the water as it repeatedly rammed the boat. He said the animal tugged on his anchor line and slapped the boat with its tail.

Littlefield shared a video showing the killer whale grabbing hold of the anchor line and swimming off with it.

"I was able to clip a buoy onto the anchor as it took off with it," he told the Daily Sitka Sentinel.

He said the buoy helped him locate and recover the anchor later, after it had been abandoned by the orca.

"I was prepared for bears, injury and storm but not prepared for that," Littlefield said. "I had no idea what to do. You just don't plan on killer whales attacking a boat."

Al Duncan, assistant special agent in charge of NOAA Fisheries Law Enforcement in Sitka, said its rare for orcas in the wild to attack people or their boats.

"It wasn't trying to steal a meal, which is normally the behavior we're familiar with," Duncan said.

"It's very rare," he said. "With killer whales there has never been a recorded incident with a fatality in the wild."

Littlefield said no one was injured and the boat was not damaged.

"It lost some paint but there was no damage to the boat" he said.

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