Photo: (JoAnne McArthur/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)
The other day we covered (with video) the southern ocean collision when a Japanese whaling vessel cut clean through the bow of the Ady Gil, a trimaran from anti-whale group, Sea Shepherd.
The latest update, reported by ABC News Breakfast, is that Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson has said the Ady Gil sunk today, at about 8:30am (Australian Eastern Daylight-savings Time). Seems it was being towed towards an island.
"I think they were towing for about six or seven hours," Paul Watson said. "Even the act of towing was taking more water on. The Japanese vessel had cut the vessel completely in half and made it unseaworthy." UPDATE: More recent reports suggest the Ady Gil actually sank at 3.30am en-route to a French base on the Antarctic coast. But after fuel, oil and some electronics were salvaged.
Both Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whaling fleet are blaming each other for the collision, as Maritime New Zealand begin investigations. (The Ady Gil was registered as a NZ vessel.)
The Herald Sun report an eye witness account from Dutch crewman, Laurens de Groot.
"The engines were running stationary and we were drifting at that moment. In the last few seconds, Jason, who was at the helm, must have looked out of the port window and saw the ship coming in and made a reflex to get out of way. It takes more than 300m for the Ady Gil to turn around, because it's made for speed not to manoeuvre quickly."
"It was the most terrifying moment of my life," he said. "When you look up and there's the bow of a thousand-tonne steel ship hanging above you, about to split you in two - you're looking death straight in the eye." He continued, "They kept hosing us down with their water hoses as they rammed us. They were running us down and still hosing us." Read the Herald Sun's piece for more of Laurens de Groot description of the event.
More Whaling and Sea Shepherd
• Captain Paul Watson of Whale Wars
• Australia Tells Japan to End Whaling or Face Legal Action. Rest of World Rolls Eyes.
• Whaling 'Peace Talks' Stalled, Japan Won't Cut Its Hunt Quotas Deep Enough