WILD NATURE

Killer whale attacks fishing boat in Alaska, man says

An Alaska man said his boat was repeatedly rammed by an orca whale Sunday while he was fishing with his son and two other people.

Victor Littlefield of Sitka said the killer whale struck the boat numerous times, yanked its anchor line and slapped the boat’s bow with its tail.

The 33-foot aluminum boat lurched to one side during the attack, Littlefield told the Sitka Sentinel. The event occurred while the vessel was anchored near Little Biorka Island in southeastern Alaska.

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Littlefield initially thought the boat was being attacked by a great white shark.

“I had just watched ‘Jaws’ the day before,” Littlefield told the newspaper.

But when he took a closer look, he saw the black and white whale.

Littlefield’s black Labrador retriever, Roscoe, was lying on a commercial ice box on the boat and Littlefield said he wondered if the whale was going after the dog.

“It was just extremely bizarre behavior that I’d never heard of,” he said.

During the attack, Littlefield said he screamed and cursed at the killer whale, terrified it would pull the boat under water when it kept twisting the anchor line around itself.

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Littlefield’s 14-year-old son videotaped part of the incident, which lasted a few minutes, before the whale swam away. No one was hurt and the boat suffered no damage.

“It [the fishing boat] lost some paint, but there was no damage to the boat,” Littlefield said.

Albert Duncan of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Littlefield notified the agency and provided video of the encounter.

“It’s very rare,” Duncan said of the orca attack. “With killer whales there has never been a recorded incident with a fatality in the wild.”

Littlefield said he was not prepared for the orca attack and wants people to be more careful when going out in the water.

“I wanted people to be aware it’s a possibility,” he said. “It’s always an adventure out there, but this wasn’t one I was prepared to deal with.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.