This is not a new phenomenon. The three orcas that rammed and sank Dougall Robertson's wooden schooner in 1972 would have learned not to do such things if the hull
had been steel
instead. And Dougall and family
would not have had to Survive the Savage Sea.
Yachts and their crews disappear at sea all the time. Logically more have been lost
from this cause over the years than are recorded. Against all odds, Robertson & Co. survived to report the event, but probably most would not, particularly in the past.
Orcas are said to be highly intelligent and of course have very keen senses, which makes one wonder if they really did mistake the underwater profile of an old schooner for one of the larger whales they prey upon.
As the ex-Seaworld trainer mentioned, they can have a malicious side as well, and intelligent creatures can get bored and get into trouble when they seek excitement or entertainment; take dogs
or humans for example.
Pulling the tongues out of baby gray whales or chasing other smaller creatures around can't keep Orcas amused all the time.
Large whale populations and seal and sea lion populations seem to be at least stable, so apparently it's not a lack of potential amusements there.
Like other large mammals they probably have personalities and sooner or later a few ___________s are bound to turn up. If people are anything to go by, the aggressively anti-social seem to attract and dominate weaker individuals and pass on their behaviours to them.
If this is confined to one pod, and more severe measures are necessary, it might be wise to identify the pack leader who is the source of the problem and quietly dispose of them, whereupon the followers may revert to type?
A lance with a suitable detachable hypodermic and some delayed action contents might be the most prudent method. Any overt violence might well worsen the situation. A drone deployment might well be possible and would avoid any obvious association with vessels and their occupants.
Would be a pity, but might save both whales and humans in the longer term?