Sea Shepherd Collides with Whaling Vessel off Anatarctica

 

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from The Hindu

A Japanese whaling ship and an anti-whaling protest boat collided in the remote, icy seas off Antarctica, with both sides on Monday blaming each other for the crash. No one was injured, though both ships received minor damage in Sunday’s collision.

Sea Shepherd, which tries to harass the whaling fleet into ending its hunt each year, said they were the victims of a lengthy attack by the whalers. The protest group said the whaling vessels spent hours dragging steel cables across the bows of the Sea Shepherd’s ships in a bid to damage the rudders and propellers. Japan’s Yushin Maru No. 3 then struck Sea Shepherd’s Bob Barker when it crossed too close in front of the protest ship, damaging its bow and anchor, said Peter Hammarstedt, captain of the Bob Barker.

“It was an unprovoked attack and they did so ruthlessly,” Hammarstedt told Associated Press by satellite phone from the Bob Barker.

Japan, meanwhile, says Sea Shepherd is to blame. The Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research, which sponsors the annual whale hunt, said in a statement that protesters on board two inflatable boats from the Bob Barker dropped ropes in front of the bow of the Yushin Maru, which became entangled in the ship’s propeller. The Bob Barker then drew too close to the Yushin Maru No. 3, colliding with its stern and damaging the whaling ship’s hull and railing, the institute said.

Australia’s Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Monday ordered an investigation into the collision.

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