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Sea Shepherd Activist Sneaks Onto Japanese Whaling Vessel

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Both the Sea Shepherd and the Institute of Cetacean Research are reporting that Pete Bethune, captain of the sunk Ady Gil, earlier today boarded the Japanese whaling security vessel that hit his boat.

According to Paul Watson, Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru No 2 under the cover of darkness using a jet ski — most likely the same one that was on-board the Ady Gil. “His mission is to attempt a citizens arrest of the skipper of Shonan Maru No 2 for the destruction of the Ady Gil and attempted murder of six Ady Gil crew,” Captain Watson said.

He said Mr Bethune had a bill for $3 million to present to the Japanese boat’s skipper and a demand for surrender.

Watson added that he anticipated Bethune would be kept as a prisoner — but more likely is the fact that there’s no easy way to return him. In a press release, the ICR noted that a similar stunt by the Sea Shepherd two years ago ended when an Australian ship acted as a mediator and returned two activists that had illegally boarded.

“In this latest incident, there is no vessel available to act as a go between to return Mr Bethune,” the press release concluded.

More details as we get them.

[UPDATE: From a Sea Shepherd release]

Captain Bethune boarded the whaling ship under cover of darkness from a Jet Ski as the Shonan Maru 2 was travelling at 14 knots in the Southern Ocean. His first attempt failed when he fell into the frigid waters, but despite this the crew of the Shonan Maru 2 failed to see him and he successfully boarded the whaler without detection.

Captain Bethune’s breaching the security of the whaling fleet security vessel remained undetected for one and a half hours.

At 0800 Hours, once the sun had risen, Captain Bethune calmly knocked on the bridge wing door, entered the wheelhouse, and presented himself to the Captain of Shonan Maru 2 where he informed the skipper that he was under arrest for the sinking of the Sea Shepherd ship Ady Gil on January 6th, 2010.

All radio communications with Peter Bethune ceased at 0805. The Shonan Maru 2 did acknowledge that Bethune was onboard.

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