Anti-Whaling Vessel Damaged in a Collision at Sea

Hard to buy this kind of publicity, sometimes you just have to go for it:

via NY TImes

An antiwhaling group’s high-speed boat and a Japanese whaler reported colliding at sea on Wednesday, with each blaming the other.

Video taken from the deck of the Japanese ship, Shonan Maru 2, showed the collision with the Ady Gil, a sleek black trimaran belonging to a group that aggressively confronts the Japanese whaling fleet each year as it plies the waters south of Australia and New Zealand.

The video shows a frothy wake coming from the stern of the Ady Gil, although it is unclear whether the trimaran was moving. The Shonan Maru 2 was directing a water cannon at the Ady Gil before and during the collision, which is clearly seen on the video, and the nose of the Ady Gil was sheared off.

The Institute of Cetacean Research, which overseas Japan’s whaling program, said the Ady Gil had rapidly approached the Shonan Maru despite repeated warnings to keep away, and suddenly slowed down in the Japanese ship’s path. The Shonan Maru could not avoid hitting the front of the Ady Gil, the institute said in a statement.

But the group that owns the Ady Gil, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said the strike was deliberate. Its Australian director, Jeff Hansen, said in a telephone interview that the trimaran “was pretty much at a full stop” and that the Japanese ship deliberately ran into it. He said the trimaran had not sunk, “but it’s in two pieces, and we’re trying to salvage what we can.” One crew member was reported injured.

A companion vessel, the Bob Barker, was used to rescue the crew, Mr. Hansen said. That boat, a former Norwegian whaling ship, was named after the former American game show host who donated $5 million to the group.

The Ady Gil, a former racing boat capable of speeds up to 57 miles an hour, was added to the Sea Shepherd fleet last October. At the time, the group’s founder, Paul Watson, said he would use the boat “to intercept and physically block the harpoon ships from illegally slaughtering whales.”

The Japanese Whaling Association calls Sea Shepherd “a terrorist group.”

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    they may want to rethink the physically blocking part…..seems like a flawed plan

    • Word Eater

      It's a way to force their hand, which in this case, they did, by hitting them.

      This is the sort of publicity they can't possibly buy.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

        all it does is allow more childish grandstanding…changing nothing.
        the real fun will be when the Japanese vessels start mounting non lethal weapons like the the pain beam or sonic weapons, I bet the DoD would be happy to give them away for the real world test data

  • posthealth

    Which side was using the sonic weapon?

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

      i was predicting the next step

  • Anonymous

    This could be solved instantly if other countries recognised the Australian claim on Antarctic waters. If we were allowed to police our territory there would be less of a need for civilians to put themselves in harms way

  • http://twitter.com/Dumbsaint Dumbsaint

    This could be solved instantly if other countries recognised the Australian claim on Antarctic waters. If we were allowed to police our territory there would be less of a need for civilians to put themselves in harms way