It's the latest in the series of orca attacks on humans in the region.

The Currier family had embarked on a sailboat, aptly named "Argo," to explore near the coast of southern Spain on their way to Greece when it was suddenly besieged by a pod of orcas, leaving them stranded, according to KRON4.

The 16-year-old son of the Currier family, Cal, had previously bought the boat to sail across the Atlantic Ocean from west to east last year, as KRON4 reported at the time. Cal reportedly found an old sailboat owned by a 90-year-old sailmaker in Mystic, Connecticut, who agreed to sell Argo to the teen for half-price.

However, this year’s voyage was cut short when the boat was rammed by the orcas in an increasingly common and characteristic attack. The Curriers reportedly described it as "very brief and very intense," lasting a mere four minutes.

Cal and his brother reportedly maneuvered the boat, lowered the sails, and even attempted to "boar" the creatures to discourage them. But the damage was done.

The father immediately called for SOS, but Argo’s rudder had been destroyed, so the boat was adrift on the Strait of Gibraltar.

The Currier family's distress call reverberated across the Strait of Gibraltar, as they found themselves adrift and in urgent need of assistance. Recalling the harrowing encounter, Currier described the attack as "very brief and very intense," lasting a mere four minutes. Desperate to repel the relentless orcas, Currier and his brother sprang into action, maneuvering the boat, lowering the sails, and even attempting to "boar" the creatures to discourage their advances. However, their efforts were in vain, and the orcas showed no signs of retreat.

Orca attacks are becoming increasingly common in the region, with highly social and intelligent orcas apparently teaching each other the behavior. According to NPR, scientists aren’t sure if the behavior is playful or malicious.

Fortunately, a rescue team spotted the beleaguered vessel and came to the tow them to safety.  Cal Currier reportedly made the difficult decision to sell the damaged boat to a marine repair shop for a mere 500 euros.

Feature image via Unsplash/Ryan Stone.