Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Anti-Whaling Boat Rammed, Sinking

In what the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is describing as an unprovoked attack captured on film, the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 rammed and caused catastrophic damage to the orgnization's catamaran Ady Gil.

Six crew crewmembers, five from New Zealand and one from the Netherlands were immediately rescued by the crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker. None of the crew Ady Gil crew were injured.

The Ady Gil is believed to be sinking and chances of salvage are considered remote.

Captain Chuck Swift on the Bob Barker said the attack happened while the vessels were dead in the water. He said the Shonan Maru No. 2 suddenly started up and deliberately rammed the Ady Gil ripping eight feet of the bow of the vessel completely off. Swift said the vessel does not look like it will be saved.

The Steve Irwin was racing towards the area at 16 knots but was some five hundred miles to the north. The Bob Barker has temporarily stopped the pursuit of the Nisshin Maru to rescue the crew of the Ady Gil. The Japanese ships refused to acknowledge the May Day distress of the Ady Gil and used the incident to break away from the scene of the ramming, the organization claims.

The incident took place at 64 Degrees and 03 Minutes South and 143 Degrees and 09 Minutes East

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is requesting that the Australian government send a naval vessel to restore the peace in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory. It says it has 77 crew from 16 nations on three vessels, six of them were on the Ady Gil. Of these, 21 are Australian citizens: 16 Australians on the Steve Irwin and five on the Bob Barker. Sea Shepherd believes that the Australian government has a responsibility to protect the lives of Australian citizens working to defend whales from illegal Japanese whaling activities.

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