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Correspondence from Antarctica: View from the Sea Shepherd Ship the Bob Barker, Part 4

(Pete Bethune aboard the Shonan Maru #2)

(Pete Bethune aboard the Shonan Maru #2)


An update on the current Antarctic campaign, from Sea Shepherd crew member Andrea Gordon.

This message was transmitted to New York from the Bob Barker vessel via satellite.

Hey Tod! I just watched the video of Pete Bethune entering the Shonan Maru #2. Very bold! Boarding was the one thing he could do so that the Shonan wouldn’t get away with the attempted murder of him and his crew. He originally wanted to board when the New Zealand and Australian governments didn’t do anything after the Shonan sunk the Ady Gil. Pete went for one daylight boarding attempt from our small boat, but it was too dangerous in the small boat with the anti-boarding spikes. But he’s one intensely determined guy. He stayed on the Bob Barker until we met up with the Steve Irwin. Then he went all the way back to Australia, only to leave the safety of home, his wife and kids, to come back to the Southern Ocean and do a dangerous nighttime boarding of the Shonan.

It was definitely dangerous. He went on a jet ski with two other people – a driver and a camera person. Then he had to balance on the jet ski, avoid the spikes, and cut the anti-boarding net – all in the dark at 14 knots! That’s pretty fast. Unfortunately, there’s no video of the actual boarding. There was a camera person on the jet ski, but apparently it was too hard to get the shot in the dark while staying on the jet ski.

The video is of Pete entering the bridge of the Shonan Maru. The funny part is that the Shonan didn’t even know he was onboard, and had been for an hour and a half, until daybreak when Pete knocked on the bridge window! The video shows him lightly knocking on the window next to the bridge door. He
put his hands behind his head while waiting for someone to see him. Then, one of the whalers opened the bridge door, came half-way out and Pete handed him a citizen’s arrest letter and a $3M invoice for the Ady Gil! The whaler comically tried to shoo Pete away. When Pete didn’t move, the whaler looked around and over the side of the ship for a small boat. There wasn’t one! The Shonan was stuck with Pete Bethune, the captain who had just boarded their security ship, wanted to arrest them and get repaid $3M for the Ady Gil. The whaler goes back inside the bridge and then Pete cautiously followed him in. That’s the last we’ve seen of Pete Bethune.

The Shonan is on their way back to Japan, leaving the Nisshin alone with the Sea Shepherd ships. No sign of the kill ships. We’re in the middle of another strong storm, holding tight in massive seas up to 30 feet with 70 knot winds. No one minds the weather though because its the 14th day no whales have died. That’s 140 whales saved and counting!

Anyway, I hope youre doing well – the albatrosses say hi! So does the elephant seal that popped his head up next to the ship the other day!

12 Comments

  1. Comment by

    Conservation 101

    on #

    Bethune will be convicted for his stupid act. S/Shitheads all deserve jail time.

    Fat Bastard Watson should be shot and pissed on.

  2. Comment by

    maryking

    on #

    In reply to the comment from Conservation 101. I can only say it shows their ignorance about the events that have taken place in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. Watson and Bethune will have the last laugh, long after Conservation 101 has wiped the egg off their collective faces. Too bad they don’t know the real facts, but then what can you say about so called conservationists that don’t even know what the word conservation means.

  3. Comment by

    banaan

    on #

    @Conservation 101
    You are stupid.
    He’s allowed to board the ship because his was sunk by them.
    The ship HAS to offer the captain a ‘ride’ back to shore.
    You are probably Japanese or someone who eats dogs so stfu.

  4. Comment by

    Bev

    on #

    101….why should Paul Watson be shot and pissed on?why such anger?….I try to wrap my brain around those that have such intense anger inside them….the only thing that I can come up with is that you, in your own life, somehow feel impotent or have no self confindence or self esteem, so you vent your frustration on those that do.

  5. Comment by

    migalooFriend

    on #

    Whales are NOT food.

  6. Comment by

    Tubeboy

    on #

    The Sea Shepherds should buy a submarine and end this once and for all. The Japanese Liars who claim “Reasearch” are basicly calling the world idiots, thinking they can fool us all and break the law. It’s all driven by money–murder for hire.

  7. Comment by

    Mr Mark

    on #

    Pete ‘probably’ will be convicted of something in Japan. Not sure what the maritime laws are in international waters regarding boarding a Government vessel.
    Anyway, it was a BRILLIANT move. Direct action – no one got hurt, and the shonan maru was forced to turn back to port. Good work fella. The decision to turn back to port, i’m reasonably sure, will have been made at Japanese Cabinet level so as not to cause further international outrage, particularly as this comes on the back of the Aussie government finally saying they will take legal action against Japan for their whaling.

  8. Comment by

    Anna

    on #

    Unfortunately Pete’s act borders on piracy in international law. I’m hugely sympathetic to his cause (of course!) but I wish someone would apprise Sea Shepherd of the Laws of the Sea at some point. I’m worried that he’s left himself and the organization open to massive prosecution. My hopes are that Australia will take Japan to the ICJ (finally!)

  9. Comment by

    Sailor for Life

    on #

    I’ve spent 30yrs at sea,,all over the world. Am now Master of 30,ooo Ton tanker.

    If any anti-whatever boarded my ship he/she/or it would be hauled ashore and the full weight of the law brought down on them. The AG WAS underway when she tried to X the bow of the Jap ship..That’s stupidity on behalf of AG..any Capt who acts stupidly SHOULD NOT BE IN COMMAND. This goes for Watson as well. This swollen-up BS’er is NOT a real Capt. He has no certificate of COMPETENCY. That means, by definition, he is INCOMPETENT!!!

    In my opinion the Japs have shown remarkable patience with these American IDIOTS.

    My advice to them is to go get real jobs and stop this foolishness.

  10. Comment by

    Christian Burgess

    on #

    I agree Watson is an arrogant idiot whos only real claim to fame is his use of big words, most of which dont appear in any dictionary.
    However People Should get their facts right eh sailor for life, Watson is Canadian Not American idiot.

    Japan will attempt to make a example of Mr Bethune & Anyone who believes Whaling will end is sadly fooling themselves, Actually Europe Now Kills More Whales Than Japan But You Never Hear People Get Upset About Them.
    Ever Think Why Japans Stock Piling Whale Meat??? Perhaps They Know Something You Don’t

    You Dont Have To Support Sea Shepherd To Be An Animal Rights Activist & If Sea Shepherd Get Upset When Rammed Maybe They Should Stop Throwing Crap At Whalers .. Violence Begetts Violence & Watson Supposedly Being A Taoist Should Understand That Law Of Nature.

  11. Comment by

    ArrowHead

    on #

    Are you guys for real?

    The Japanese’s obligation to bring Bethune back to port is waived because the SS took him back to port on the Bob Barker two weeks ago. And that’s only the first of several severe flaws with the SS’s crazy plan….

  12. Comment by

    Sagebrush

    on #

    Both Watson and Bethune are complete idiots, and neither of them are real “captains” or they would know better…

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