(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!