Sea Shepherd captain 'devastated' by sinking
Fri, 08 Jan 2010 5:16p.m.
By Emma Jolliff
An attempt to salvage Ady Gil after it collided with a Japanese whaling ship has failed. The former Earthrace vessel sunk in Antarctic waters.
Its Kiwi captain, Pete Bethune, says he is devastated by the whole experience.
After the dramatic collision between the Ady Gil and the Shonan Maru 2, crew removed any fuel or contaminants from the Ady Gil before attempting to tow it to a French research station to see what could be salvaged. But at 3am, it took onboard too much water and went down.
"To see it have its final resting place down here in Antarctica was certainly an incredibly emotional moment," says crew member Peter Hammarstedt.
Captain Bethune says he wasn't there to see it.
"I had my suspicions, and I said to the guys when I went to bed last night if the boat goes down. don't wake me."
He says he's gutted. The uninsured vessel was regarded as crucial to Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling campaign.
"I think the Japanese whaling fleet looked on the Ady Gil as a severe threat, because it enabled us to block the harpoons," says Sea Shepherd's Captain Paul Watson. "It was faster than a harpoon vessel, it was the perfect interceptor vessel."
The Japanese maintain it was the Ady Gil crew who were at fault, and say the act should be condemned.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully was not commenting on the matter today, saying it is now up to Maritime New Zealand to investigate the collision. The minister's office said reports of an official complaint from the Japanese were a "mistranslation", and denied there is any political stoush over the incident.
The Greens say the Government should be doing more.
"Not only is the Japanese whaling fleet illegally trying to kill whales in the Southern Ocean, they're now also trying to kill the people protecting the whales," says co-leader Russel Norman. "What will it take for the New Zealand government to stand up and do something?"
"Our objective is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically," says Capt Watson. "That is, to bankrupt them. That's the language they understand."
Protestors gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Wellington today
"We're here to protest against what the Japanese government are doing in Antarctica, killing 1000 of our whales this year," says protester Lisa Baines.
So will we see another Ady Gil?
"It was simply too effective at shutting down their operations, so we'll certainly exploring the possibility of maybe building a second Ady Gil, and we may see the reincarnation of that ship in the future," says Mr Hammarstedt.
It's a reincarnation that's one step closer today with a new donor reportedly offering $1 million dollars towards building the Ady Gil 2.
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11/09/2011 12:34:52 p.m.
King Reggin wrote:
Thank god the Japanese stopped this terrorist organization. With any luck the Japanese can capture them before they escape and execute them.
27/06/2010 6:50:31 a.m.
pretty bad when your so overly populated you gotta kill whales for food.i would have loved to see he sea sheppards ram there boat into the factory ship.there murderers an we will make them go bankrupt i promise
30/01/2010 12:35:12 a.m.
Peter Terry wrote:
As an activist involved in the 70s anti nuclear movement which targeted French atmospheric and underground nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll, I suggest similar tactics be employed here. To bring pressure to bear against the Japanese Government to review its whale cull policies, Japanese owned business' in New Zealand and Australia should be targeted in extensive protests and civil disobedience acts… PeterT
25/01/2010 2:05:13 p.m.
osama bin sahvnwales wrote:
Its illegal here to use a phone while operating a car and it piss' me off.I'm going to put a pirate flag on my car and start ramming into cars that are endangering other drivers.Lets all rise up and use violent methods and tactics like ALF, SS and other organizations to make everyone else think how we want them to.We must remember, just like everything we're the good guys and fighting the bad guys - there's nothing to discuss about it as long as your closed minded enough to focus on your individual wants. Believe in a disregard for others point of view, they are only going to parade you with evil heartless propaganda - before they have the option to speak, punch them in the face. That way the opinion that matters will be the only one said. Yours.Hats off to this fantastic group for being the first terrorist group to get a mainstream tv show. Until this I never knew that Al Queda was planning a family show on PAX.- osama bin sahvnwales
12/01/2010 8:26:06 a.m.
jerrel: The hands of these hooligans designed and built the awesome machine; Ady Gil sponsored them to hunt the whalers in the Antarctic. Expects a new boat to appear in your magazine this December.
11/01/2010 12:34:57 p.m.
i remember reading about earth race in popular science about 5 years ago, a real shame this awesome machine ended up in the hands of such absolute hooligans
10/01/2010 1:55:32 p.m.
The oceans are in big trouble. Overfished, undervalued, with frightening numbers of fish and animal species going extinct every year. If the oceans fail the rest of the earth will rapidly follow, and we'll have more than starving children to worry about.
9/01/2010 5:44:01 p.m.
if you want to know the true http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLdUISE3e8c
9/01/2010 5:05:23 p.m.
Video from Bob Barker ship shows they turned directly for Ady Gil instead of passing it at 20-30 meters. Sea Shepherd are not trying to kill the Japanese sailors, only to impede them in their illegal activity of commercial whaling banned by the treaty they had signed, under pretext of bogus "research". The Japanese in this case went directly for the kill. If anyone had been in the forward compartment they would have been dead. Even after shearing off the bow they still turned high pressure hoses at the scrambling crew trying to knock them off.
9/01/2010 2:31:15 p.m.
Candy,The Japanese did not ignore a boat in distress. The photo accompanying this article shows that the Shonan Maru 2 circled back after the collision. It is shown on the side opposite of the side that had been struck. As the SSCS ship Bob Barker was in sight of the collision when it occurred, I doubt that a mayday was even sent out by the AG. What would be the point? Crew on the Bob Barker filmed it as it happened.Watch the tail end of the video attached to this article. The aft water cannon on the whaling ship is fixed and does not move. As the whaling ship passes, the spray hits the Ady Gil. It does not move to continue to soak them after the collision. I think that the whalers intended to put a scare into the protesters and got too close. What might have been a glancing blow off the pontoon became catastrophic when the AG accelerated at the last moment in panic. Had the whalers intent been death, they could easily have gone directly over the top of them.With all the shenanigans that go on down there, it is a miracle that this has not happened before and they are very lucky someone was not killed.
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