Sunday, February 6, 2011

Whale Wars: The saga continues…

Here we go again…
Reports are coming in from both sides about an incident that occurred earlier today in the Southern Ocean between – wait for it – the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Japanese whalers er, Japanese whale researchers.  True to form, both sides are pointing fingers.  Here’s the report (click to download PDF) from Tokyo’s Institute of Cetacean Research:

At about 0710JST today, the Yushin Maru No. 3 (YS3), a Japanese Antarctic whale research vessel was subjected to attack by the Netherlands-registered vessel Bob Barker (BB) and the provisionally Australian-registered trimaran Gojira (G).
The G and two zodiac boats sent from the BB repeatedly approached the YS3 and deployed multiple wire ropes (propeller foulers) in front of the YS3 course and threw multiple projectiles. At about 0910JST at least two of the wire ropes entangled in the YS3’s propeller.
At 0928JST the YS3 sent a Mayday signal. The attack continued for a number of hours despite the mayday call. No attempt was made by the SS vessels to assist.
The BB activists deployed at least 10 propeller foulers and threw more than 80 butyric-acid filled glass bottles and at least 5 smoke bombs against the YS3. More than 30 butyric acid bottles landed on the YS3. The G activists fired multiple paint-filled projectiles from launchers and used a large sling shot to fire more than 30 butyric acid bottles. More than 10 of these hit the YS3.
During the attack the YS3 was broadcasting a warning message and made use of its water jet-pump as a preventive measure to make the activists desist from further approaching.
No injuries to the Japanese crew from the activists’ attack have been reported.

Meanwhile the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is claiming the Yushin Maru No. 3 tried to ram one of their vessels, and even went as far as hurling a medium-to-large sized blunt-ended bamboo rod at them! (click HERE for video)

The Yushin Maru No. 3 deliberately turned into Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ship the Gojira today in an attempt to ram and destroy the fast multi hulled vessel skippered by Captain Locky MacLean.
“It was like staring death in the face when that steel hull suddenly turned into us. We just narrowly avoided being cut in half,” said Captain MacLean.
Both vessels were on a parallel course, with the Yushin Maru No. 3 on the starboard side of the Gojira. Suddenly the Yushin Maru No. 3 made a hard turn to their port in an attempt to disable the Gojira.
Captain MacLean saw this in time to hit the throttle, effectively avoiding collision with the Yushin Maru No. 3 with the stern of the Gojira by a mere 10 feet.
Delta boat operator Chad Halstead narrowly avoided being injured when one of the whalers threw a bamboo spear at the boat crew. Sea Shepherd crew recovered a few of these potentially lethal bamboo spears.

Be careful out there kids!! You can join in on the discussion on this incident in the gCaptain forum HERE.
Pictured: The Sea Shepherd Conservation Societies new high-speed whale hunter hunting vessel M/V Gojira they must have picked up when we were too busy not caring.

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