by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes.

pete_bethuneWe just received an email from Captain Pete Bethune of the Ady Gil explaining a bit why the ship appeared to move at the last minute as the Shonan Maru No.2 was closing in on her. Here are his words,

“We were just idling. My guy driving tried to turn to starboard at last minute but was too late. Also had a wave pick us up which carried us another metre or so into danger. In the end we had right of way. They were on our port side and they were also overtaking. So it is up to them to steer clear of us regardless. A good result for the Japanese in short term, but this will hurt them dearly in the long term I believe.”

I also asked Peter who received that water cannon-to-the-face after the collision. Adding insult to injury, he confirmed it was him.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Hideyoshi Toyotomi

    Just idling?

    Well thank goodness they weren’t throwing acid, shining weapons-grade lasers and dragging ropes.

    Afterall, those would be the acts of terrorists and criminals.

    • John

      Fuck off Yoshi, I can tell you nobody outside of Japan gives a shit what you think. All the talking and posting by you and the rest of the goons is only making the money flow in faster. Your too stupid to realize your approach is digging you a deeper hole. The days of being able to rape this worlds oceans with impunity is quickly coming to an end.

      • Kevin

        Well John, I speak on behalf of many Australians who are disgusted by the tactics used by Sea Shepherd. The whaling issue is one to be taken up with the IWC. Conduct on the ocean, however, is just as important. Sea Shepherd continues to break maritime law through dangerous vigilante action. They are fast losing support.

      • emenot

        I am not for the Japanese of whale slaughterS, but the tactics of Sea Shephard’s methods are terrorist behaviors and lies have totally turn my support OFF!

      • emenot

        Its pointless debating these eco terrorist, its like trying to reason with girls with irrational reasons. Its a waste of time and energy, just ignore them and the nagging! LMFAO……..

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732830934 Mike Head

        well Kevin, i wonder if the whales will share your sentiments as they get killed in the thoousands. For years governments have gone to the IWC to stop whaling and it has got us no where as Japan does not want to listen and instead lies and murders an endangered species.

        While i would like an end though non violent contact i want to see an end to whaling more and in this case the means justifies the ends. If you dont like it tough, the whales couldnt give a toss about your views.

    • hehe

      I’m sorry you are wrong. “Fruit-of-the-boom” underwear is terrorism and a criminal act. the other stuff is just child’s play

    • don

      Killing whales is criminal.

      • Marielle

        And killing cows, kangaroos, chicken and other things for meat isn’t?

      • Mike D.

        Vegan here. However, your argument is a bit pointless. Substituting one wrong with another is simply the last resort in any debate. It means you have given up on justifying your side of the issue. In this case, pro-whaling.

        Mike D.

      • jo

        We farm cows and chickens. Whales are endangered species. There’s a difference

      • Sutter Cane

        Uh, no. No these whales are not endangered.

        338,000 to 665,000 (depending which figures you use) Mink whales. They are not considered endangered, even by international standards. The Japanese hunt 0.13% to 0.26% of that number every year. Which is replenished.

        Whales hunting is no different than hunting kangaroos or eating cows. Because you think it’s somehow “horrible” simply because you were told it was, isn’t an argument. So come back with another fallacy besides your idiotic dribble.

        You think it’s not a problem? Horse meat was officially banned in the United States for no other reason than the fact horse lovers and “animal activists” lobbied it to be so. They were raised and killed like cattle and the meat was sustainable and more regulated than the cattle industry. Yet the same fallacious logic behind this continued bitching about the Japanese got horse meat banned.

        Grow up.

      • Sutter Cane

        Uh, no. No these whales are not endangered.

        338,000 to 665,000 (depending which figures you use) Mink whales. They are not considered endangered. The Japanese hunt 0.13% to 0.26% of that number every year. Which is replenished.

        Whales hunting is no different than hunting kangaroos or eating cows. Because you think it’s somehow “horrible” simply because you were told it was, isn’t an argument. So come back with another fallacy besides your idiotic dribble.

        You think it’s not a problem? Horse meat was officially banned in the United States for no other reason than the fact horse lovers and “animal activists” lobbied it to be so. They were raised and killed like cattle and the meat was sustainable and more regulated than the cattle industry. Yet the same fallacious logic behind this continued bitching about the Japanese got horse meat banned.

        Grow up.

      • SWO

        Cows and kangaroos are not self aware, or nearly as intelligence as whales and dolphins.

        There is a difference.

    • EARTHWARRIOR117

      A) They are not lasers, they are photonic disruptors. They are no more dangerous than a flashbulb.
      and B) butyric acid is only harmful if ingest or if it comes in contact with the eyes. If the whalers are dumb enough to be willing to lick the decks where the acid lands, they deserve the ill effects.

      As an American, I find it rather hilarious that the Japanese consider a bunch of vegans hunking stink bombs to be terrorists. Both of our nations have experience some rather nasty terrorist attacks in recent history, and yet you consider Sea Shepherd a threat to your national security. I’d stop worrying about the rotten butter and start worrying about the sarin gas.

      • emenot

        Why didn’t they just use water ballon if their intention is not evil?

      • Diane

        The butyric acid is simply to ruin the whale meat when it is put on the deck. It is meant for nothing else – not to cause harm to humans. The aim of that action is to make the meat unfit for purchase and consumption and therefore bankrupt the whaling companies…this could lead to shutting down the illegal slaughter of endangered species.

    • Scott

      Whale killing activist needs to get lost.

    • Donny

      Uh-oh, national media coverage means more people are going to know about this incident which means more donations to Sea Shepherd. The whalers are going to be bankrupt soon.

    • Reg

      I bet Hideyoshi is posting from the one of the whaling fleet ships, lol. What a load of rubbish, and I’m not a supporter of the SSCS!

    • Jeff

      Hey,

      I know Yoshi, wasn’t he that guy in “The Cove” trying to block the cameras from filming dolphins getting slaughtered!!!

      The murder of any self aware creature is at least grounds for a boycott of Japanese products…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732830934 Mike Head

        too right, if the limpless poor excuse for governments wont act it is up to us to act. Don’t buy Japanese until they stop whaling. Look up the FB group and join.

    • Ducky

      What I just LOVE about your Whalers is that BEFORE/DURING/AFTER they ramned in to the Ady Gil they continued to spray the crew with water jets! In what other way could the Whalers say that they have no concern for humans that done agree with them? Honestly, that just goes to show that they knew what they were doing and they didnt care if anyone got hurt.

      • emenot

        Whats good for the goose is good for the gander…If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen………

      • SWO

        emenot

        So you equate launching stink bombs and prop foulers to t-boning a vessel that is dead in the water in the Antarctic, and is also made of fiberglass, then hosing the crew down with high powered water cannons as they try to remain on board after the fact?

        What planet are you from?

        As a professional mariner – 13 years at sea as a surface officer in the US Navy – I am amazed that the Japanese Captain was not charged. He not only violated the Rules of the Road – it was indeed the Japanese vessel that had the responsibility to avoid collision with a vessel that was DIW and on his starboard side – but was also intent on destroying and possibly killing the crew.

        Im no bleeding heart liberal – but wrong is wrong. If the Japanese want to escalate to that level then the Sea Sheppards are well within their rights to do so as well. Hell, I may join them, and I know how to fight a ship.

    • Matt Black

      Hideyoshi – when the Americans put atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the Second World War, were they terrorists and criminals in your esteemed opinion?

      • Dave Head

        Neither they were just trying to get their attention! But it took two before they did.

  • MartinP

    Please don’t lie Pete. It can be clearly seen in the video released by the ICR ( http://www.icrwhale.org/gpandsea.htm ) that the Ady Gil turned on it’s forward thrust just prior to the collision, putting it’s bow underneath the bow of the much larger SM2 and causing it to be sheared off. Maybe your guy meant to put it in reverse. But he didn’t. He put it in forward and stepped on the gas. That’s why you lost your boat.

    • Stacey

      I don’t think the video shows that at all.

    • truthseeker

      Have you been on that vessel? do you know anything about the turning radius? were you there? maybe you should watch this and eat your words. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLdUISE3e8c

      • emenot

        The Ady Gil is designed and made to go straight and fast to circum navigate the around the globe record, it was not build to turn fast. The skipper know this but he claimed he was trying to turn starboard to avoid collison. Earlier, he claimed that the Ady Gil was out of fuel and dead in the water too, ALL LIES……

    • Win

      Ahem, do you not know that there is something called a wake? Even in the air, there is a noticeable wake when, say a train passes you. Water doesn’t act like it isn’t there.

    • Elliott R

      Having watched Whale Wars, the prop fouling technique is what the Ady Gil was trying to do. It tried to accelerate at the last moment to “Cross the T”. The Japanese ship which probably doesn’t do more than 20 knots has to maneuver appropriately to avoid a much faster 50 knot speed boat. Poor seamanship on Ady Gil’s part. If you going to screw around in the ocean with fast boat and big ships, somebody is going to lose.

      Seems kind of hypocritical that the Ady Gil is claiming piracy since they Steve Irwin ran into one of the whaling boats last year and claimed it wasn’t their fault. If your going to play for pink slips, you don’t cry when you lose or your boat sinks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732830934 Mike Head

        elliot, i guess like amny others you havent watched the videos? If you had you would see that the Ady Gil wasn’t trying to prop foul the NM2 whaling ship. They were idling a good distance away waiting for the Bob Barker to come up to them. The Japanese sought them out changed direction at the last minute and rammed them, pure and simple, it doesnt get clearer than that. I dont care if you support one side or the other, the truth is the truth. Yes the Ady Gill was harrassing the boat to stop it from illegally whaling before this, but this was afterwards and a cowardly act. Throwing rotten butter on a deck does not equate to distroying a boat and almost killing people.

    • VirginiaD

      In order to perform a quick turn maneuver one does have to apply thrust. Plus the draft of the whaler ship could have pulled the Andy Gil towards it. Apparently, this action was a bit too late.

    • SWO

      MartinP – Ive studies a lot of video on collisions at sea, and I think you are very wrong in your interpretation.

      But, even if what you say is true it does not matter for 2 reasons:

      1. The SM2, according to the nautical Rules of the Road, had the obligation to avoid collision in that particular situation.

      2. Instead of steering clear of the AG, the SM2 turned into the AG and appears to have increased speed as well. The legal, and appropriate action, would have been for the SM2 to turn hard to port, and or reduce speed to avoid collision.

      Aside from the legal reasons, the other realities you may not be aware of if you have not spent significant time at sea, are that:

      1. Even the AG could not go from idle to sufficient speed to avoid the SM2 once she made that hard to starboard maneuver. At that point it really did not matter what the AG did – they were done for.

      2. It is clear from the video that the AG did not have sufficient speed to maneuver its bow at all. The motion you are seeing is most likely a result of the wave conditions.

      Now, I will question why the AG would idle in that situation. That does not seem very smart to me… but if the SM2 had even maintained course they would have avoided collision. As it is, the video you refer to clearly shows them turning into the AG.

  • http://vegan--japan.blogspot.com/ herwin

    wow, this last video really shows it all very clear without a shadow of a doubt. Its just insane and criminal , its just a regular attack on human lifes…
    well, it aint over yet so good luck to all the SS teams out there.

  • Greg

    i’ve been working on power yachts with similar engines to that of the Ady Gil for 15 years. i’ve watched that video closely about a hundred times and it is blatantly obvious that the Ady Gil went from idling to acceleration when the ship was still 10 meters away, and made a very deliberate run to get just under the bow. he says they were trying to turn, in that situation it would have been insane to turn by starting forward, and rediculous to think a multi-million dollar boat like that dosen’t have reverse, my 15′ runabout has reverse. i’m sorry to say, because i believe in the cause, but these guys are trying to win public opinion by lying and cheating. the whole purpose of designing that expencive monstrosity of a bat-boat was to drum-up attention first, then so people would notice when they wreck it on purpose on the front of a whaleing ship.

    • Hideyoshi Toyotomi

      Sea Shepherd lying and cheating to win public opinion? Yes sir. Since 1977.

      • http://facebook Tammy

        I don’t care if the Sea Shepherd is telling the truth or not. The point is, the Japanese should not be whaling and if the government won’t step in, somebody has to before they’re extinct!

      • truthseeker
    • Paul

      Greg,
      I agree with the majority of what you observed. The AG did go from low idle to forward thrust as the Shonan Maru2 closed in. Where I would differ, is with your conclusion that the driver intended to shoot forward into the path of the ship. 5 of 6 crew were on deck, leaving one at the controls. I think that the driver could not see the approach of the SM2 from the cockpit window which does not afford much of a rear view and minimal side view. The driver reacted to the commotion of his shipmates as the SM2 closed in and he hit the throttle, moving forward into the path of the ship. Had he done nothing, it is likely the 5 on deck would have just received a soaking from the water cannon.

      • emenot

        Why are all the crew top side if they were not going on alert? Why are some of them trying to fix the boat inside? Give me a break Sea Shepards, how stupid do you guys think the rest of the world are!

    • Mark

      While you might know about engines, it’s apparent you know squat about navigating and running a boat. Boats don’t turn without HEADWAY. That motion you saw was HEADWAY. (And just in case you really wanted to get a stupid thought in your head, any motion forward or backwards is headway.) It’s what generates force against the rudder allowing an equal and opposite reaction resulting in the boat being able to turn.
      Further, you also obviously don’t know the rules of the road when it comes boats. The whaler was overtaking on the port side. They had to yield the right of way to the Aby Gil. Their actions are comparable to going the wrong way up an exit ramp. But, of course, from all videos its obvious to all (except those who wish to be intentionally blind) that the Japanese captain was intentionally ramming a vessel 1/10th his side. This is attempted murder by anyone’s standard.
      Hope the Japanese captain captain got great satisfaction from sinking the Aby Gil because he WILL lose the ability to go into any international port. He should lose his license but the Japanese are too bigoted and cowardly to enforce even their own laws.

      • d

        There is also a rule of navigation which states the largest of two vessels has the right of way, and another which states it is every seamans responsibility to avoid collision

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732830934 Mike Head

        nicely put mark, its good to see someone on here who actually knows what they are on about instead of repeating dribble picked up of other sites. We keep hearing about the big boat having right of way, as far as i am aware this is more the case for when boats are in port and at very low speeds. Out in the open ocean the port boat must set a course away from the starboard boat, in this case he not only did not do this but changed course to hit the Ady Gil. This is what a court will look at and the japanese captain has no defense.

    • VirginiaD

      I too have watched the videos over and over again. It is very clear that the whaler was turning at full speed towards them and in order to get out of their way, the Andy Gil powered up in order to maneuver. Reverse may not have been an option because that would have pulled them low in the stern and with the wake of the whaler, several of the crew could have been washed overboard. Also, they were not even get the prop fowling line ready to through, so that reason for some of you nay sayers don’t cut it. The Japs where ovbiously out do grave harm upon them.

    • SWO

      Greg,

      How do you account for the SM2′s hard turn to starboard – into the AG?

      I have 13 years at sea as well, and the video does not show me anything other than the SM2 turning into a vessel that is by and large DIW. Fair enough, there is some forward motion, but that motion was not significant to the accident, and could just as easily have been drift in 10′ seas.

      I do not put it past the Sea Sheppards to intentionally cause a PR storm, but in this case I just don’t see how the SM2 is anything but culpable in this collision.

      Id actually love to know why she was DIW in the first place… but even still, the SM2 had the responsibility under the RoR to maneuver to avoid collision – and in fact she maneuvered into the AG. Then after the fact, instead of taking action to assist the crew of the AG, they try and knock them off the deck of their destroyed vessel with water cannons…

      There are a lot of things the SS say that I dont buy (Watson getting shot, for instance), but the video does not lie on this one. And I dont believe for a minute that the whalers had any intention other than destroying that ship.

  • Marielle

    Ady Gil is a fast, light and maneuverable boat and should have had no trouble staying clear of a larger vessel which is a whole lot slower and incapable of making quick moves. This entire thing was a publicity stunt to make it big on the news… and it looks like the Sea Shepherd has indeed succeeded on that point.

    • http://www.seashepherd.org/ Rolf Larsen

      it is NOT Maneurverable, when they were to change berths in Hobart, they had to leave the docks completely, make a wide circle and come back in.

    • truthseeker

      All you who think that the Ady Gil rammed the whaling vessel.. watch this and aeat your words.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLdUISE3e8c
      japan is going down.

      • VirginiaD

        Thanks for posting this. But even for some of the die hard nay sayers,with the TRUTH staring at them in the face, they will still say otherwise. The whale are very intelligent and probably even more intelligent than them. ;)

  • John

    I’ve been skippering boats for many years, and what Pete is saying is just bollocks! There is a rule that says if you come from a give way position to a stand on position, you still remain as the give way vessel. We know that the Ady Gil was circling around the Shonan Maru 2 and is likely to have been changing from give way and stand on on and off. This means there is no way the Ady Gil was then stand on vessel. In any case, what kind of skipper would leace such an expensive boat in such dangerous conditions in the hands of an inexperient driver. Extremely careless and irresponsible. I would never trust that skipper again!

    • Dan

      I’m going have to agree with you John, screw right of way, the safety of the crew and the vessel are paramount. I believe in what the Sea Shepard is doing, but the pilot of the Ady Gil shouldn’t be able to take tickets at a water ride after this. YOU DON’T PLAT CHICKEN WITH A STEAMROLLER!!

    • truthseeker

      you obviously haven’t skippered a vessel like this. There was only ONE of them in the world. so sorry your opinion does not matter in this case. watch this.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLdUISE3e8c

      • John

        The international regulation to prevent collisions at sea apply equally to all ships, and I am familiar with the specs of that boat and they are not that different from other boats. I did watch that film )it is very relevant, and I wondered before if anything like that would be published= and it just comfirms what I said before. Within 10 seconds of that clip it was obvious for me that the two ships were in a collision course and that action should have been taken. Pete, however, was standing on deck goofing around with his mates and waving at the other Sea Shepherd boat. It also comfirms what was said before here by others: the driver engaged the engines forward sending the Ady Gil straight into Shonan Maru 2 bow. In fact, Pete only became worried when the engines were engaged. He, like any experient skipper would tell you, realized that action was desastrous in the context, and otherwise the collision might have been avoided. So again, extremely careless and irresponsible, and Pete definitely has is share of responsibility in the event.

    • Also a Democrat

      John….have you even watched the video from the Ady Gil?

      Never in the entire video does the Ady Gil circle the Shonan Maru 2 ONCE…

      • John

        The video only shows 3 minutes before the impact. The se is not like the road, and a boat is not a car. 3 minutes is nothing. I wanted to see what the Ady gil was doing one hour bofore impact ot even 2 hours. It is pretty obvious you never had to make decision regarding a collision course on a boat.

    • nunya

      Actually it’s not his first collision. He was piloting the Earthrace when it ran into a Guatemalan fishing boat because they didn’t have an adequate watch. One of the fishermen died as a result.

  • jack

    sea shepherd is a terrorist operation. they neeed to be arrested and thrown in guantanamo for life

    • truthseeker

      really? that isn’t in the terrorism database. odd. plus.. they aren’t in jail.. plus.. they have never injuured anyone.. terrorist eh? you idiot.
      watch this
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLdUISE3e8c

      • Dave Head

        Hey Jack is your uncle GWB?

      • Defiant

        Dick Cheney…

  • steph

    You guys are heroes. I’m glad your safe. We are doing our part to try to help you and your crew here in NYC. Best of luck to you and the entire Sea Shepherd crew!

    The JAPANESES are the terrorists!!! Not the brave SS crews!

  • Joe

    Humans disgust me. The only reason SS are called terrorists by so many of you is because they harrass other humans. Does it matter that these “other humans” are doing something illegal? Does it matter that these “other humans” are harrassing back in more harmful ways? Does it matter that SS has never injured or killed any of these “other humans”? Does it matter than SS is trying to protect an innocent creature that was here way long before humans were?

    “They should all be jailed.” For breaking what law? Oh, right there’s a law that says if they don’t argree with you, they should go to jail. And the law the whalers are breaking? Oh that’s a not a law because you don’t agree, correct?

    If they are terrorists I think that ANYBODY who stands up for what they believe in or tries to protect anything without KILLING any people should be jailed.

    I guess American troops should be jailed or called terrorists… Oh wait, they actually do kill innocent people though.

    • VirginiaD

      If they were “real terrorists” then why aren’t they using RPG’s and other lethal weapons. I myself would be very tempted to use them myself if I was out there, but I know better for that would totally defeat the purpose.

  • Jeff

    I fully support SS and am currently boycotting Japanese goods… Thanks to TLC for bringing their efforts to the mainstream. Watch “The Cove” for further demonstrations of the compassion of the Japanese seafood industry…

    • ddpalmer

      What does TLC have to do with anything?

      Do you maybe mean Animal Planet where the show Whale Wars is broadcast?

      Maybe you should learn a little more about is going on before you make yourself look stupid again.

  • Vincent Massi

    The crew of the Ady Gil keep changing their story, as the videos show that they are telling one lie after another. International law requires the more maneuverable boat to change course away from the less maneuverable boat. The videos clearly show that the Ady Gil sped up and cut in front of the whaler. Other videos show that they had been doing that for the last two days.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732830934 Mike Head

      Vincent, another statement from an idiot who knows nothing about the laws of the sea. Where did you gleam this information from? Probably another dimwit on another blog is my guess.

  • Jordan

    I agree with Joe people are stupid and think people are terrorists and need to go to jail cause there fighting for what they believe in and not what you your self believe in. Everyone needs to get over them self regardless whales have been here b4 we have and with out these whales are ecosystem will go down fast they do things to keep our ecosystem alive in the waters. And the Sea Sheaperd does throw things that arnt harmful in less the wale killers lick the dang deck and if they do there so dang stupid and need to get sick. And they never not once have ever harmed a human not like the real terrorist here who are all about money and not thinking about the whales and our ecosystem. And will do anything to get there money even if it means killing humans and last season the sea sheaperd stopped what they were doing to help the wales killers crews find a man who feel over bored even though they didn’t have to and we are all humans and they were going o help rescue the man and the whale killers stood on and attached the ss men and women freeze and fight to get back on to a sinking ship to wait for help and not once was the bigger man and tried to help them would of rather watched them die so we know who are friends are in real when there taking american money to support there country and people and hating us enough to let our people die in cold water and not give an crap. so whose the terrorist the Japanese are sorry they hit the ship they never attempted to help the crew get out of the water and they kill whales and they are killing our ecosystem and there just di**s and dont care about anyone or anything but there money in thier hands. There seems to be alot more bad things coming out of the Japanese side then the sea Sheaperds

    • emenot

      Jordon:

      According to your post, you would be on the side of Al Quida and the Telibans…???

  • Ecocht Wills

    It’s obvious from the latest vid the Japanese thugs went out of their way to assault and potentially murder these brave guys. The Japanese are utter hypocrites, accusing Sea Shep of being “dangerous terrorists” from them lobbing stink bombs and shining intense lights, yet they actually charge a steel lunging ship at near full speed into a DRIFTING carbon-hulled “watercraft” with vulnerable people at water level. The Japanese are beyond contempt. Rock on, Sea Shepherd! You guys are heroes.

  • wayne

    Until people wake up to the reason the Japanese are being so dogged about whaling they will not be stopped. The Japanese are fearful that if they accept bans on whaling, the attention would then move to the rest of their fishing fleet. The Japanese are responsible for the collapse of blue fin tuna stocks, some species of sharks as well as other species. The Japanese are by far the worst offenders of over fishing and destroying bio-diversity in our oceans. Accepting a ban on whaling, in their minds, would leave their entire factory like fishing vessels at risk of similar bans.

  • Mick

    For those SS supporters who have been quoting maritime law. Perhaps you could post a link showing what the law is in regards to pulling alongside another ship and throwing acid and slicking agent at them. What are the rules in regards to towing a rope in front of a moving vessel in an effort to foul their props? What section of maritime law is “prop-fouling” in? What does maritime law have to say about boarding another ship at sea without permission? I’m sure you would have no problem proving that all of these things are allowed under maritime law, right?

    • wayne

      Mick
      The Japanese are conducting illegal whaling, in a declared whale sanctuary and in the AEEZ. Fact is both sides have been guilty of deliberately ramming each other. Both sides are playing hard ball. Unlike when the whaling fleet lost a man overboard and the Steve Erwin assisted in the rescue. After ramming the Ady Gil the Japanese continued to hose the members of the crew trying to knock them into the ocean. They also ignored the distress calls from the Ady Gil after the incident. If the Japanese were not conducting illegal whaling operations, then there would be no confrontation in the southern ocean, at least not about illegal whaling.

      • Mick

        Wayne,

        The ICR research is perfectly legal and is being carried out under the regulations set by the IWC. Scientific whaling in the SO whale sanctuary is also legal and allowed under IWC regulations. Australia’s claims to the Antarctic are only recognized by 4 countries. Japan is not one of them. So Australia’s claim to the EEZ is just that, a claim. It has no relevance to the ICR’s operations.
        SS likes to proclaim that they are “enforcing the law”. What so-called “laws” are they enforcing? In any case, they have not been granted authority by any recognized agency to act as law enforcment agents.
        In addition, their current and past actions are illegal, as I pointed out in my earlier post.
        I personally find it to be the height of hypocrisy to blatantly and routinely break the law for YEARS and then cry and whine about “the Japanese broke the law!”. SS does not have and has not had any respect for the law or for common decency for that matter. They have no right to invoke “the law” that they have shown no respect for.

      • Dave Head

        The Japanese research program is not legitimately “scientific” because it has not been peer-reviewed and does not have precise quantifiable goals. It is unquestionably an abuse of right because it invokes Article VIII of the Whaling Convention in a manner that certainly was unanticipated by the framers of the Convention and has been repeatedly condemned by the majority of the other contracting parties to the Convention.

      • Hideyoshi Toyotomi

        Oh good! Now that we’re concerned with what the intention of the framers of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, perhaps we can all campaign to ensure that their stated goal of making possible “the orderly development of the whaling industry” is realised.

        We could start with the IWC and return it to its function of regulating whaling instead of prohibiting it.

        How’s about it folks?

      • Mick

        Dave,

        So because some people believe the ICR’s research is not legitimate, that gives them the right to attack ships in international waters? The AG had been attempting to foul the props of the NM earlier that day. No one has answered this question yet: What is Maritime Law in regards to “prop-fouling”?
        The AG and it’s crew had ignored and violated Maritime Law on many occasions prior to the collision. Then they want to hide behind the very law that they had been blatantly and smugly violating. What pathetic hypocrisy.

  • Chuckles

    Intentional ramming or not, one thing is clear to me. Mr. Bethune is utterly incompetent. He is engaging in active warfare, as the show’s name suggests, by attempting to damage and disable opponent’s vessel, yet he puts the Ady Gil in a uncessarily dangerous situation. Does the phrase Sitting Duck ring a bell? I do sympathize with their cause, but watching their actions and tactics on TV is like trying to enjoy a train wreck.

  • Mr. Jay

    Maybe if you built a ship with rudders behind the screws you could have had some low-speed maneuverability.

  • sea shepherd supporter

    As a strong Sea Shepherd supporter, I agree with Sea Shepherd’s tactics 1000% and here’s why:

    If you see a person being beat up on the street are you:

    A) ask him to stop

    or

    B) kick his ass then tell him to stop

    I’ll tell you B will work more that A. The Japanese whalers know one language force, and they are learning it really well and soon they will go broke because of it!!!

    that’s because the more force, the more money they need to put into the “security ships”, water cannons, LRADS, and Coast Guard guards providing security….

    KICK ASS SEA SHEPHERD!!!!!!!

  • Axiom

    When you look at all three videos, it’s clear the Japanese were trying to ram the smaller vessel. The sharp turn putting them on a collision course was just a few seconds before impact and took the Ady Gil by complete surprise.

    The Ady Gil crew and captain were taking a breather after a busy day. All vessels were at idle. A second Japanese vessel was ahead, but over five miles away. The Shonan Maru 2 was closer, but also at an idle, which must have seemed to offer a chance for a short break.

    The blaring sound from the Japanese is not a collision alarm, it is an LRAD, Long Range Acoustic Device designed for no lethal crowd control. Whether by a failure in design, or as a result of acoustics on the open seas, it hasn’t been effective against Sea Shepherd, which is why the Ady Gil crew mock the sound. At no point did the Shonan Maru sound it’s horn to warn of an impending collision.

    The Ady Gil crew and Captain position themselves obviously with no thought that there could be a collision. The Captain actually dangles his legs off the port side, which would be suicidal if the plan was to collide with the Shonan or even to suddenly cut in front of them with out the intention of colliding.

    Yes, the Ady Gil’s engines come to life roughly 2 seconds prior to the collision. Likely the pilot panicking at the sudden jog of the Shonan right towards the cockpit. Even powerful engines take a few seconds to overcome inertia at sea and forward motion would need to be achieved to facilitate a turn.

    A couple months ago I had a drunk driver overtake me from behind at high speed. Two lanes on each side, with no physical divider down the middle. I was in the left hand lane, preparing to turn off to the left in 50 feet. He was hugging both lanes in my direction, no cars anywhere to be seen but the two of us. At the last second, he moved into my lane, heading right towards a rear end collision with me. Most people would have swerved into the right lane, but something told me to swerve left, into the empty, opposite lane of traffic. Good thing I did, because at the last second, he swerved right.

    If I had swerved right, yes, my split second decision would have been what kept me in his path and we would have crashed. However, that would not have made the accident my fault, it would have just been a split second attempt to avoid collision with someone barreling down on my at high speed from the rear.

    I see almost the exact same thing here, except the Ady Gil pilot didn’t have the time, nor the forward momentum necessary to maneuver to starboard in time to avoid being hit. Even if, and that’s a big if, the Ady Gil was able to gain any forward speed in that last second before collision, it doesn’t make the collision any less the fault of the Shonan. The Japanese were either being very, very reckless, trying to scare the Ady Gil crew by swerving into them, with the intent of swerving away at the last second for a very close call, or they were trying to deliberately ram them.

  • Axiom

    Let me add that, to my knowledge, even with the high speed of the Ady Gil, the attempts to foul the prop of a Japanese vessel were unsuccessful. It seems it’s a tactic that basically is a roll of the dice, at very, very steep odds, that’s probably only functioning as a way of making the Sea Shepherd crews feel like they are making a real effort to do something with in the non-violence limitations of their actions.

    They know they can’t prevent the Japanese from whaling entirely, but they hope to slow them down enough that they will fall far short of their “quota” and that thus, the hunt will be less financially successful. Remove the profit and you remove the main motivation.

    The Ady Gil was a big game changer for Sea Shepherd, not really in terms of direct confrontations, (at which it didn’t prove any more successful than Sea Shepherd’s other small, fast boats), but because it combined very high speed with very long range. The Ady Gil was able to find the Japanese ships in record time and removed the ability to just power up and lose Sea Shepherd (which has happened in previous years, as the Japanese ships were faster than the Steve Irwin).

    I think that’s why the Japanese decided that if they had an opportunity to ruin the Ady Gil, they would take it, in spite of any political risks or the risk of loss of life of Sea Shepherd crew.

    I think the biggest faults of Sea Shepherd in recent years have been sub-optimal strategy and tactics during the actual sea actions along with a naive underestimation of what tactics the Japanese will be willing to deploy against them. It’s pretty clear from the attitudes and actions of the Ady Gil in the minutes prior to the collision that they never, ever imagined in their wildest dreams that the Shonan Maru would take advantage of their “break” at idle to attempt to deliberate ram them.

    Hopefully this will be the wake up call and no future Sea Shepherd Captain will be “dumb” enough to make themselves such an easy target ever again.

    • VirginiaD

      It’s very obvious now that the Japanese will go to any lengths to protect their illegal hunt of whales. Now is the time for the governments (especially Australia) to send military vessels to protect the lives of the international crew of the SS ships before anyone does get killed by the Japanese. Also, while there, to send the Japanese whalers packing out of there.

  • deep down south

    Quit the bickering – watch the latest footage and it all becomes clear.

    The AG was dead in the water for perhaps 3 min prior to the NM2 altering course and bearing down on it.

    I challenge anyone to watch the new footage and come up with a NEW view of what did really happen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsQ_BTmiAuY

    Leaves a lot of Egg on the whalers faces (collective) and maybe the damage bill as well.

    A – deep down south

    • Mick

      “The AG was dead in the water for perhaps 3 min prior to the NM2 altering course and bearing down on it.”

      The video is only 3 minutes and 20 seconds long. 3 minutes prior to the collision you can clearly see what appears to be a wake behind the AG.

  • http://projectcamelot.org/ Whoever…

    Many of the anti-SS comments (some of them filled with hatred) only show what kind of people are the ones who defend whalers at all cost.

    People who defend torture and the death of animals are usually the same people who are glad when activists are hurt or killed! This says a lot about your character… evil people who, when your lifestyle and vision of the world are questioned, attack all of those who think outside the box and truly want to change this world into a better place.

    Sooner or later, you’ll realize that the people who you’re defending are the same people who wish to enslave you and have no problem whatsoever killing you or your family in order to carry out their plans. (= create fake terrorism so they can put into practice things like ‘the patriot act’ or make wars, create H1N1 to psychologically ‘force’ people to be massively vaccinated and thus destroy their immune system and carry out population reduction, create financial crises so they can make a huge profit, etc.)

    You obviously don’t understand what I’m writing about because your level of consciousness and awareness are extremely low. Too bad! You’ll soon pay the price for that.

    What really ‘shocks’ me though is that most of you truly think activists are terrorists (you’ve been so well brainwashed by the Illuminati that everything is terrorism to you now – the real terrorists are the bankers, religious and political leaders, CEOs of multinationals and oil companies, owners of pharmaceutical companies, the members of the Bilderberg group, and so on… the same people who are creating terrorism in order to control you with lies; and apparently they’re being very successful!) and that it’s okay to kill them, while at the same time you defend whalers who are nothing but murderers (they have no respect whatsoever for human and non-human life).
    Isn’t that a paradox? Where’s the ‘there is no excuse for violence’ argument now?

    Besides being hypocrites, zombies and liars, your level of evolution is very, very low!!

    Oh, and to everyone else, please just ignore the hideyoshi toyotomi character (who is not even a real japanese citizen – (s)he is a fake) because (s)he is obviously on the payroll of the whaling industry or the Illuminati! People are so oblivious to the ‘real truth’…

    I fear our future will not be a bright one at all if we don’t open our eyes once and for all…

  • dogs out

    Hideyoshi,

    I see you post trash everywhere (La Times etc).

    A paid pathetic propaganda merchant! Do you actualy have any useful opinions? Didn’t think so. Yawn.

  • Ice-B

    Lot’s of strange arguments here, even though Pete Bethune clearly states that: We Tried To Turn To Starboard Just Before Impact… people here keep repeating the original claim that the Ady Gil was “dead in water” and a stationary “target” that got rammed by the Shona Maru 2.

    Could some of the defenders of that theory please explain to me about the physics that enabled the Ady Gil to start turning starboard without having any forwards momentum???

    No, the Ady Gil did NOT have bow-thrusters!

    And the fact that the Japanese is morally wrong in their researchwhaling does NOT explain how the helmsman on the Ady Gil intended to turn his vessel to starboard without going forwards either!

    Next?

    • sidewinder

      Mate – it is simple. The Japanese rammed ther ady-gil and continue their propaganda campaign.

      The Japanese are killing whales in the internationally recognised Southern Ocean Sanctuary for whales.

    • night owl

      The terrorist Japanese whalers are in complete contempt of an Australian Federal court order which states harvesting whales in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary is illegal.

      Not only that, they refuel, dump waste and do not have permission to be in the Australian Antarctic Territory (nor the NZ one).

  • emenot

    We were just idling. My guy driving tried to turn to starboard at last minute but was too late…

    WHAT A LIAR, THEY KNEW FULL WELL THAT THIS BOAT IS MADE FOR GOING STRAIT ITS TURNING RADIUS IS BIG AS THE BIRD NEST STADIUM OF CHINA….

  • Jallen

    I know old thread. I have had months to deliberate. I see this as a shared responsibility. Aggressive manuvering of a ship that size to intimidate a smaller vessel is risky to the smaller vessel, as such is the smaller vessel to intimidate the larger to avoid it. This collision seemed inevitable.

    The SM2 turned towards the Ady Gil anticipating it would retreat as usual, it did not, the driver at helm caught off guard. All too late the driver engaged thrust and with all intent to turn starboard. The wake pushing them forward into the hull of the SM2 along with the full thrust of the Ady Gil.

    Now I say to all, anyone with the belief that in the Antarctic Ocean, engaging a several hundred ton ship on a small craft, with crew on deck, the risk of sinking and injuring and possibly killing your crew and friends, would intentionally ram it?