Monday, January 11, 2010

Ady Gil RIP


In an unprovoked attack captured on film, the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rammed and caused catastrophic damage to the Sea Shepherd trimaran Ady Gil.

Six crew crewmembers, four from New Zealand, one from Australia, and one from the Netherlands were immediately rescued by the crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker. None of the crew Ady Gil crew were injured.

The Ady Gil is believed to be sinking and chances of salvage are very grim.

According to eyewitness Captain Chuck Swift on the Bob Barker, the attack happened while the vessels were dead in the water. The Shonan Maru No. 2 suddenly started up and deliberately rammed the Ady Gil ripping eight feet of the bow of the vessel completely off. According to Captain Swift, the vessel does not look like it will be saved.

“The Japanese whalers have now escalated this conflict very violently,” said Captain Paul Watson. “If they think that our remaining two ships will retreat from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the face of their extremism, they will be mistaken. We now have a real whale war on our hands now and we have no intention of retreating.”

Captain Paul Watson onboard the Steve Irwin is racing towards the area at 16 knots but still remains some five hundred miles to the north. The Bob Barker has temporarily stopped the pursuit of the Nisshin Maru to rescue the crew of the Ady Gil. The Japanese ships initially refused to acknowledge the May Day distress of the Ady Gil, but ultimately did acknowledge the call. Despite acknowledging the call, they did not offer to assist the Ady Gil or the Bob Barker in any way.

The incident took place at 64 Degrees and 03 Minutes South and 143 Degrees and 09 Minutes East

Ady Gil rammedUntil this morning the Japanese were completely unaware of the existence of the Bob Barker. This newest addition to the Sea Shepherd fleet left Mauritius off the coast of Africa on December 18th and was able to advance along the ice edge from the West as the Japanese were busy worrying about the advance of the Steve Irwin from the North.

“This is a substantial loss for our organization,” said Captain Watson. “The Ady Gil, the former Earthrace, represents a loss of almost two million dollars. However the loss of a single whale is of more importance to us and we will not lose the Ady Gil in vain. This blow simply strengthens our resolve, it does not weaken our spirit.”

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is requesting that the Australian government send a naval vessel to restore the peace in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory. We have 77 crew from 16 nations on three vessels, six of them were on the Ady Gil. Of these, 21 are Australian citizens: 16 Australians on the Steve Irwin and five on the Bob Barker. Sea Shepherd believes that the Australian government has a responsibility to protect the lives of Australian citizens working to defend whales from illegal Japanese whaling activities.

“Australia needs to send a naval vessel down here as soon as possible to protect both the whales and the Australian citizens working to defend these whales,” said Steve Irwin Chief Cook Laura Dakin of Canberra. “This is Australian Antarctic Territorial waters and I see the Japanese whalers doing whatever they want with impunity down here without a single Australian government vessel anywhere to be found. Peter Garrett, I have one question for you: Where the bloody hell are you?

4 comments:

Shark Diver said...

We would like to congratulate Sea Shepherd and Animal Planet on a fantastic staged event for television - perhaps one of the best staged disaster moments of 2010.

As production people ourselves we know the hazards and very real dangers of staging live disasters for television. It's a highly technical world only professionals can effectively operate in.

Multi-million dollar staged disasters are often canceled at the last minute due to OSHA compliance or studio fears of death and dismemberment. Sea Shepherd on the other hand have found a way to circumvent all of the requirements for staged disaster television by only allowing all volunteer crews and staging the event against non paid, non union, Japanese whalers.

By-passing all clean environmental requirements for television productions by producing this man made disaster in the Antarctic ocean was another master stroke. The clean up of several thousand gallons of bio diesel spilled by the Ady Gil and retrieval of the vessel from the sea floor would have cost Sea Shepherd and Whale Wars production millions if this disaster had been filmed in the USA.

Brilliant!

Managing to move Sea Shepherds $2 million dollar vessel Ady Gil into the path of Japanese whalers was a stroke of nautical timing by a seasoned captain who knew his vessel, and the direction wind, waves, and engines were carrying it. Catching the whole thing on video from the Bob Barker at just the right angle was pure reality television.

We were doubly impressed with the witty and show branding quote from SSCS Paul Watson immediately after the stunt "Now we're in a Real Whale War!" reminding the global audience that this is, after all, Must See TV!

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have proven to be much evolved from the earlier staged days of Paul Watson being shot by Japanese whalers. In terms of production quality and emotional leverage that staged event was not one of the top three of the 2007 reality television season.

Kudos again to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Animal Planet for once again leading the way to a new decade of reality television. The disaster staging keeps getting better and better, and your circumvention of all production norms and safety regulations allows your organization to literally shoot for the moon.

We're looking forward to more man made disasters in the coming months!

bonnie said...

There's a hopefully thought-provoking writeup over on the Old Salt Blog.

I left my own 2 cents worth in the comments there. I can't muster much sympathy for Sea Shepherd.

Anonymous said...

Ady Gil got what it deserved.

Craig Russell said...

From my inbox:

The blog about Ady Gil not being at fault for the collision with the Japanese Whaler is about as true as the old story (first sighted in 1996) of the scuba diver in the forest fire.
Ady Gil was harrassing vehicles that were legally harvesting of whales. It looks to me that Ady Gil was under full power when she rammed the whaler but never less she shouldn't have been that close to another vessel.
It is just as deplorable if Shonan Maru No. 2 did not answer the Mayday.
I am neutral on whaling but why did you only listen to the Sea Shepard side of view?
I know, your from California. The same broke state that just bought carbon credits from Sierra Pacific on trees they weren't going to harvest anyway.
Regards,
John