A Fishing Boat in Alaska is Attacked by a Killer Whale
Victor Littlefield of Sitka, Alaska, took his 14-year-old son and two others fishing last week; and they had a terrifying encounter with an orca whale, also known as a killer whale. They were in a 33-foot aluminum boat when there was a sudden lurch from one side. A whale rammed the boat they were in time after time. It also slapped the bow of the vessel with its tail and pulled off the anchor line. The boat had been anchored in the southeastern region of Alaska near Little Biorka Island when they encountered the black and white whale.
It didn’t help Littlefield that he had watched the movie Jaws the day before the fishing trip. The only thing he could figure was that his dog, a black Labrador retriever, was laying on the boat on top of a commercial ice box and the whale may have been going after it. He said he’s never heard of a whale behaving in such a bizarre manner.
Part of the whale attack was videotaped by Littlefield’s son. The video is a few minutes long and captured the moment when the killer whale pulled off anchor rigging and finally swam away. During the attack, Littlefield said he was terrified that the whale would pull the boat under water because the anchor line was being twisted around the massive attacker.
In the end, the only damage to the boat was some lost paint. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.
How Common are Whale Attacks?
Littlefield provided the video of the whale attack to Albert Duncan, who is with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. According to Duncan, orca attacks are very rare. He doesn’t know of any recorded incidents in the wild in which a killer whale has caused a fatality.
Littlefield wants to share a message with fellow boaters and fishermen to be prepared for the possibility of an unexpected adventure. He urges everyone to be more careful whenever they go out in the water.
Preparedness when on a Fishing Boat
For anyone wanting to be better prepared when fishing on a boat, what might some additional safety steps be? Perhaps bring a harpoon? Whatever else you do, bringing life jackets and all the basic safety supplies to deal with getting stranded far from shore or getting overturned is a good start. Fishing is definitely worth the risks involved, even the remote possibility of an attack by a killer whale.