The Ady Gil
The Sea Shepherd fleet has been chasing the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica for about a month now, continually fighting off attacks from the harpoon vessel the Shonan Maru No. 2. Yesterday revealed quite a bit about the players on both sides of the conflict.
The Japanese harpoon ship Shonan Maru No. 2 rammed the tiny Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil. The attack ripped about eight feet of the Ady Gil’s bow completely off the ship. The Ady Gil is sinking and will, most likely, be unsalvageable. As the Ady Gil lurched during the ramming and the crew struggled to keep from falling overboard, the Shonan Maru No. 2 fired high-powered water cannons at the teetering Sea Shepherd members while shooting their LRAD at the Ady Gil. View video of the attack here.
At first the Japanese did not acknowledge the Ady Gil’s post-attack distress signal. The Nisshin Maru finally acknowledged the signal without offering assistance to the ship sinking in Antarctica.
This behavior is getting a bit lethal for even the Japanese Antarctic crew. Even when they chucked grenades at my friends and I on the Steve Irwin two years ago, they weren’t quite so brazen about trying to cause fatalities. New attacks like these suggest they’re more malevolent towards humans than even we thought.
Luckily, the Japanese didn’t know that Sea Shepherd has secretly acquired a third ship for the fleet this year, which has now caught up with the Japanese fleet and rescued the six crew members of the sinking Ady Gil. I’m personally quite glad my friends are now safe and not sinking alone in Antarctica.
Perhaps understandably, the people of Australia are a tad annoyed that their federal government is letting the Japanese sink a ship full of Australians with impunity.
The Australian people and the Green Party of Australia have been wonderful, level-headed supporters of Sea Shepherd, and we think they have a right to be miffed about the Australian aid given to the Japanese whalers to help them attack Australians.
Update: This post at first stated that the Ady Gil wasn’t moving when the Shonan Maru No. 2 rammed and dragged the Ady’s bow before ripping it off. I since removed that statement because the debate of “was it moving?” became everyone’s sole focus of the attack. I’m keeping that statement off since the rest of the post seems to go unread if that statement is in, even though I stand by Captain Chuck Swift. But in case people are still curious to see if the Shonan Maru No. 2 actually did swerve to hit the Ady, here’s video of the ramming from the point of view of the vessel the Bob Barker.