Ever since the Sea Shepherd Ady Gil was sunk some two weeks ago after a collision with a Japanese whaling vessel, the talk has turned to funding and building a successor. We already know that it will be expensive — and that words like “bigger, better, faster” have been thrown around — but what exactly would such a revised ship look like?
Our curiosity got the better of us, so we contacted the one guy who probably knows better than anyone else: Captain Pete Bethune, the creator and owner of the original Ady Gil.
“In some respects the Ady Gil was a few metres short,” he wrote to us from aboard the Sea Shepherd Bob Barker. “The best is a self contained campaign vessel with greater range, an 8m rib for skirmishes and boarding, crew of 10-12 (includes video, photographer, ops manager, skipper, 2IC, engineer, and 5 crew). it would allow us to run campaigns and promotions anywhere in world, with a large enough team to be self sufficient. I reckon 30-33m vessel. Probably a wave piercing catamaran, or tri hull but with living space over outriggers. Still be really efficient and cost effective compared with the likes of Steve Irwin and Bob Barker. But big enough to be unsupported. Down here for example, we needed to meet up with larger vessel every 3 weeks for fuel and supplies.”
He added, however, that it will be up to others to make those decisions — so whether or not the Sea Shepherd pursue the cost to build such a ship is out of his hands.
In my opinion, it makes perfect sense for Paul Watson and Co. to move ahead with a new version of the ship. Even though the costs would be high, the press coverage gained would be even greater. And no offense to either the MV Bob Barker or MV Steve Irwin, but the Ady Gil 2 would be a sexy, sleek vessel that would draw large crowds and provide opportunities to educate people on the Sea Shepherd’s current campaigns. The returns, I feel, would be much greater than the initial investment.