British couple relive terrifying moment they were attacked - by KILLER WHALES
A British couple has relived the terrifying moment they were attacked - by KILLER WHALES. Janet Morris and Stephen Bidwell, from Cambridge, were enjoying a sailing course off the coast of Morocco when they spotted a pod of orcas. Some of the deadly mammals then started bumping the boat - an attack which continued for an hour, it is claimed. Also faced with high winds and big swells, the able crew managed to navigate to calmer waters - and to safety. Business consultant Janet, 58, said: "I couldn't believe it when I saw them - it's extremely rare. We were sitting ducks. "We were amazingly calm but underneath we were thinking, 'Oh my god'. "Because everyone was calm it felt okay, but we were petrified, it wasn't until afterwards that we talked about being very scared. "We got our valuables and our passports and talked about getting the life raft ready. "It really didn't help that conditions were bad before the orcas. The boat was moving around a lot - it was hard to distinguish one cause from the others. "The captain was very calm and orderly, which got everyone through." Photographer Stephen, also 58, said: "We all remained calm because we were aware that if any of us got anxious it would be infectious. "We were able to do that because the skipper was so calm. "Orcas enjoy the thrill of the chase, so ideally we'd have kept still, but that wasn't possible because of the winds." Janet and Stephen, who are qualified to charter and captain sailing boats, were on day two of a week-long course to clock up sailing miles when the orcas hit, on Tuesday May 2, just seven miles from Tangier. The couple were taking a nap in preparation for their night-watch duty when they felt banging on the hull and heard crew members shout, 'Orcas! Orcas!' - so they rushed to deck. At some point during the attack the crew saw the orcas - thought to number at least six - chasing pieces of debris that looked like sponge in the water. The orcas let up the chase after an hour but the steering on the boat failed so they headed back to shore. Back in port they realised that the debris were pieces from the rudder of the sailing yacht, a 46-foot Bavaria. The couple will get another opportunity to do the course, Janet said. She added: "We were on the course to get experience, and we'll know what to do if this happens again." The Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Europe and Africa, has been referred to previously as 'orca alley' due to the large number of whales. There has been previous reports of the whales attacking boats in the area - which has baffled scientists.