Ever since the Sea Shepherd’s Ady Gil sank after a collision with a Japanese whaling vessel this past January, talk of a replacement for the high-tech speedboat has remained steady. With a top speed somewhere around 50 knots, the ship gave the anti-whaling org a definite advantage in chasing down vessels and blocking their attempts to kill whales.
With passions running high after the sinking, the real Ady Gil immediately pledged to build a successor to his lost boat. “We have the designs, we have the mould, and Peter Bethune, who designed and built the boat, is quite prepared to rebuild it,” he said.
While rebuilding may financially not be possible (estimated at between $3-$5 million), could an existing ship fit the bill? A now-deleted comment on Paul Watson’s private Facebook page seems to point toward this direction.
“Sea Shepherd has acquired a new fast vessel to replace the Ady Gil,” the post read this past weekend. “The name will be posted once registration and reflagging is completed. This vessel will bring the fleet to four once again along with the Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Sirenian (based in the Galapagos). Thank-you to all the fans and supporters that have made this possible.”
Hours after it was deleted, the UK Facebook site for the Sea Shepherd dismissed the rumors; saying that “[We] have not acquired a new fast vessel to replace the Ady Gil. We are working on a vessel to take to the Gulf, but it is not a fast boat like the Gil.”
I also contacted Paul Watson, who wrote to say that the Ady Gil will be replaced, but not yet.
So, we’ll keep waiting. Perhaps like the Bob Barker’s surprise entrance last winter, the successor to the Ady Gil will make herself known through subterfuge.
Wouldn’t it be fitting if the captain of the Shonan Maru No.2 was the first to break the news of her existence?