Sea Shepherd ships collide with Japanese whaling ship21/02/2013 21:07:19 Several collisions as Sea Shepherd ships stop whaling ship refuelling
February 2013. The ships of the Sea Shepherd Society, currently in the southern ocean doing their best to disrupt and halt the Japanese whalers, have clashed with the Japanese whaling factory ship, the Nisshin Maru.
The Sea Shepherd Society's ships, the SSS Bob Barker and SSS Steve Irwin have, according to The sea Shepherd society, been rammed by the Japanese whaling fleet's massive factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru.
The following is a statement from Sea Shepherd:
Captain Peter Hammarstedt radioed the whaling fleet's factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru, and told them that the Bob Barker intended to maintain course and speed, that the moral and legal obligation to avoid the collision was on the Nisshin Maru.
The Nisshin Maru, turned and was approaching from starboard. It nearly collided with Bob Barker, before it turned into Steve Irwin, and rammed the Sea Shepherd ship's stern. The Nisshin Maru continued on its collision course, and rammed the portside of the Steve Irwin.
The Bob Barker took the Steve Irwin's position on the portside of the Sun Laurel.
The Bob Barker completely lost power and issued a MayDay distress call. As this distress call was issued, theNisshin Maru turned away and began fleeing north.
Sea Shepherd Australia Co-Campaign leader, former Senator Bob Brown, has informed the Australian Government of the Japanese multiple breaches of international law and called for Tokyo to be required to remove its ships from this region north of Australia's Casey Base and to desist from its gross violation of Australian and international laws. He says that the Australian Navy should be dispatched to restore the law.
Currently the Sun Laurel is being escorted north by the Sea Shepherd fleet, since they have no emergency life-saving devices in the potentially treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean. Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen said, "The Nisshin Maru has committed the maritime equivalent of a hit and run accident. They have rammed the Sun Laurel, putting them in perilous danger, and simply abandoned them."
All vessels are heading north with the illegal whale poachers from Japan two miles ahead of Sea Shepherds' fleet.
All three Sea Shepherd ships were rammed, with the Bob Barker sustaining the heaviest damage. Power has been restored to the Bob Barker. Fortunately no crew member sustained injuries. The crews completed the mission to block the refuelling and will continue to protect the whales in the sanctuary.
'Institute of Cetacean Research'
Some media reports have claimed that the Japanese whalers have abandoned their hunt for this season, though the Japanese fishing authorities deny this.