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article imageJapanese whale boat rams protest vessel, crew evacuate

By Roderick Eime     Jan 6, 2010 in Environment
Sea Shepherd's fast protest vessel, Ady Gil, has been badly damaged in a collision with the Japanese whaler, Shonan Maru 2. Conflicting accounts emerge.
According to Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research, the "attacking" craft was dragging a rope hoping to ensnare the Shonan Maru 2's propeller and rudder and was subsequently struck.
The ICR also accuses the crew of the Ady Gill of hurling acid bombs at their vessel and shining a laser beam at the bridge.
Sea Shepherd group leader Paul Watson told Fairfax Media the $1.5 million Ady Gil was sinking, but its six-man crew had been rescued. A report on the Murdoch News Ltd site, claims one crew member has broken ribs.
The incident took place at 64 Degrees and 03 Minutes South and 143 Degrees and 09 Minutes East
Eyewitness, Captain Chuck Swift on the Bob Barker stated in a press report, the attack happened while the vessels were dead in the water.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 suddenly started up and deliberately rammed the Ady Gil ripping eight feet of the bow completely off.
The Japanese vessel apparently initially ignored Ady Gil's distress call, but failed to render assistance in any case.
The Shonan Maru 2 is a 52m Japanese Oceanographic vessel of 490 Gross tons capable of 12 knots that Sea Shepherd claims is being used as security vessel to disrupt protesters.
More about Japan, Whaling, Antarctica, Protest
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