MADRID (Reuters) – Sailing lovers are going to require a bigger boat if they want to cruise off Spain’s northwestern suggestion after killer whales damaged yachts.

Several incidents including whales and little sailboats have actually been reported off the Galician shore near La Coruna since Aug. 19, the Transportation Ministry said. Nobody was harmed.

On Wednesday it prohibited boats under 15 meters (49 feet) long from taking to sea for at least a week off a land segment of about 90 km (56 miles) in between Cape Piorino Grande and Point Estacas de Bares.

The whales have bumped the boats’ hulls and rudders, triggering damage that in some cases has resulted in the coastguard having to tow boats back to coast. The ban could be extended if the cetaceans stay in the location.

Highly social whales are spotted frequently off the Spanish shores in the Straits of Gibraltar and the Gulf of Cadiz in the south and off Galicia and Cantabria in the north.

They normally eat fish, penguins and seals. An adult can measure up to 8 meters and weigh up to six tonnes. In the wild, they are not known to assault human beings.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Modifying by Andrei Khalip and Janet Lawrence

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