Things are getting a bit “close” down in the Southern Ocean.
With the MV Bob Barker actively searching for the Nisshin Maru factory ship, the high-speed Gojira and other smaller support vessels have been harassing the Yushin Maru No. 3 — a Japanese whaling vessel that up until today, was keeping tabs on the Bob Barker’s movements. The Sea Shepherd used stink and smoke bombs while, in a new twist, the Japanese threw bamboo poles in retaliation.
But it’s the close encounters between the Gojira and the Yushin Maru No. 3 that have been raising fresh memories of the Ady Gil’s demise last year. According to the Sea Shepherd, the Gojira narrowly avoided being rammed earlier today — in what the conservation org is calling a deliberate attempt to destroy the vessel. “It was like staring death in the face when that steel hull suddenly turned into us. We just narrowly avoided being cut in half,” said Captain MacLean.
Both vessels were on a parallel course, with the Yushin Maru No. 3 on the starboard side of the Gojira. Suddenly the Yushin Maru No. 3 made a hard turn to their port in an attempt to disable the Gojira. Captain MacLean saw this in time to hit the throttle, effectively avoiding collision with the Yushin Maru No. 3 with the stern of the Gojira by a mere 10 feet.
While no videos of the event have surfaced (no doubt “Whale Wars” execs will promote the hell out of this one), the Institute for Cetacean Research did release what appears to be another clip of the Gojira getting real close in another encounter. “The Gojira crosses in front of the Yushin Maru No. 3 and deploys a wire-rope aimed at her propeller and rudder,” reads the release.
Ironically, the captain of the Yushin Maru No. 3 is the same one that was involved in the collision with the Ady Gil last year.
Check out videos of the pole throwing and Gojira crossing below: