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Ear to the Ground

Whale Warriors Lose Multimillion-Dollar Vessel in Clash With Japanese (Update: Video)

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Posted on Jan 6, 2010
Flickr / BotheredByBees

If you’ve seen the TV series “Whale Wars,” you know all about the Sea Shepherds, those activists who try to obstruct Japanese whalers, to the chagrin of whale eaters and Greenpeace alike. The group just lost a very expensive carbon fiber and Kevlar speedboat in the craft’s maiden confrontation with a Japanese whaling vessel.

The Sea Shepherds and the Japanese are blaming each other for the sinking, but anyone with real sea legs would instantly recognize the culprit: The Shepherds renamed the speedboat from Earthrace to Ady Gil. Every sailor knows it’s the worst kind of bad luck to rename a vessel.  —PZS

Update: Video of the encounter

AFP via Yahoo:

The wave-piercing, carbon-and-kevlar Ady Gil, bankrolled by a Hollywood businessman, was one of the world’s most celebrated vessels. In 2008, under its former name Earthrace, it smashed the world circumnavigation record by two weeks.

“This is a substantial loss for our organisation,” said Watson. “The Ady Gil, the former Earthrace, represents a loss of almost two million dollars.

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By MainbraiN, February 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can we shoot the Japanese boat ?  No no, only in the name of research on Japanese whale boats on sea.

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By bob, January 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The angle you have does not show tha the Ady Gil was moving forward towards an impact.  If I would have been in charge of the Ady Gil, I would have been backing up as fast as I could, but this was not the case… See the Video from the ship and it shows the Ady Gil add power and move forward just before impact, talk about stupid, got to know stern from bow, did we mention the use of lasers either?  I think the Ady Gil Crew should be brought up on charges .  thank you

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By RAE, January 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Taking a two million dollar speedboat and plunking it down in front of a whaling ship is about a stupid as taking a brand new Rolls Royce and using it to barracade a road against oncoming demonstrators.

I’m cheering for all the whales that got away while the humans involved were making fools of themselves.

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By Andrew Ryan, January 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Half of you commenteurs need to get your facts straight. If any of you actually know how a vessel navigates, then you’d know those videos from either side aren’t clear at all.

The Shepherds do make these questionably risky maneuvers while the Japanese [I]fishermen are infamous with their aggression when dealing with these organizations.

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By b-political, January 7, 2010 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not sure I see enough in that video to make any determination. It is clear the whalers are steamin for the activists - but without seeing if the Ady Gil was moving or stopped in the minute or two before hand… I’m also not a marine investigator.

I will call BS on DieDaily though.

“They are totally non violent and their ONLY weapon is publicity. They have no track record of ramming vessels or any other violent activity, unless you consider cutting open nets violence against poor helpless nets, or some tripe like that.”

Perhaps, If Diedaily had a better source than - ““The Cove (2009)”. What a film.” - he would have read Sea Shepherd’s own website which states -

“In the same year, the Sea Shepherd hunted down and rammed the notorious prolific pirate whaler the Sierra in a Portugal harbor ending its infamous career as the scourge of the seas.”

http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/our-history.html  - It was in the 2nd paragraph took 25 sec to find…

Reading further down the page are many examples of violence and ramming.

Maybe this will serve to teach you to do your research, but probably not. I wonder what movie you got your facts on the “warm-mongering hoax” from.

That taken care of, I will say that Sea Shepherd has done many good things in sometimes creative ways - red and blue dye to stop white baby harp seal slaughters, bounties on pirate whalers(ships), documenting illegal activity and turning it in to the authorities, and many other examples.

The fact remains, however, that violence in this regard(and most regards) should be left as a last ditch effort. Violence has a way of solidifying the opposition, bringing even more government resources to bear against your cause, alienating supporters, sidelining supporters, creating divisions within your cause, and a host of other negative effects.

Further, sinking ships has an ecological effect - often exactly in the delicate areas where these spills can do the most damage (whale waters, seal habitats, etc).

B

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By Diesel, January 7, 2010 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I build boats; sail, motor, row and paddle them.  Irrespective of my feelings about
whaling, the Japanese, Greenpeace or the Ady Gil and the politics or philosophy of
her operators, she was definitely under power and moving forward.  In fact, she
was accelerating towards the Japanese ship.  You can tell by the wake coming out
from the stern of her hulls.  Not only did she not try to avoid the collision but
appears to have forced it and will likely be found to have done so by a Marine
court of Law. 

Foolish for a lightly built carbon boat to tangle with a steel work vessel.  There
could have been no other outcome.  You must pick your battles.

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By idarad, January 7, 2010 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Where is the outrage at the Japanese? Some of your comments are like those who blame a women for being raped because she was good looking. These “whalers” are violating international agreements. All so they can enjoy some god awful Japanese delicacy, probably soaked in fish piss.

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By RAE, January 7, 2010 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

Oh, what the hell. Let the Japanese eradicate all the whales. I think they’re doing them a favor - at least the poor beasts won’t have to suffer the indignity of flopping around in the sewage stew we’re making of THEIR oceans.

If those running the Sea Shepherd Society had any balls they’d be using submarines and torpedos. Sinking a few whalers might slow down the slaughter.

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By bogglesthemind, January 7, 2010 at 1:56 am Link to this comment

Oops, almost forgot . . . thanks to one and all for the comments.

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By jiminy9, January 7, 2010 at 1:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

karma will sink the whaling vessels - domo arigato karma -

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By bogglesthemind, January 7, 2010 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

The engines were not running?  v.3

It is obvious from the video they could have avoided the collision.  v.2

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By TheHandyman, January 7, 2010 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

And you are quite right boggles, stupid does happen and when it does it is usually evident because there is a lot of I know everything and you are full of it that goes along with it. The stupid includes comments about their own expertise when it is evident they have none or who say they want whales saved but not the people with the courage and willingness to put their money where there mouth is so-to-speak, unlike the stupid.

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By TheHandyman, January 7, 2010 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

I think that a lot of the commenters here have got it right. Just what in the hell does the Sea Shepard organization think it is doing? It’s not like the whales asked them to come to their aid. I’m sure that if they didn’t want to give themselves up to the Japanese whaling ships they would just swim away or maybe go to the Mediteranean for the whaling season. Besides, I’m sure that the whales know that their death is for a really good cause since they are being killed for research porpoises. Just think how many whales the Sea Shepherds could have saved if they had donated the cost of that ship to the Japanese so they wouldn’t have to kill whales in order to do the research. And just think about the number of very rich people who wouldn’t be forced to aid in the research by eating all that very expensive whale meat.

The Sea Shepherds should look back and see how non violent demonstrations saved the DoDo and the Passenger Pigeon. Why, even the freeing of African slaves here in this country was done by peaceful protestors. So why must they insist on violent confrontation? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Nest thing you know they will come out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jeez, why can’t these people just stay home and blog or post on other blogs like the rest of us?

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By bogglesthemind, January 7, 2010 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

The engines were not running?  v.2

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By DieDaily, January 7, 2010 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

Squirm all you like, bogglesthemind.

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By bogglesthemind, January 7, 2010 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

The engines were not running?

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By DieDaily, January 7, 2010 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbuq0YEIPNU

Watch it weep, bogglesthemind. There was not the slightest possibility of avoidance.  They had mere seconds to start their engines and they would have had to REVERSE out, not likely! The attacking vessel turned so quickly and suddenly that nobody could have possibly avoided it. Physics doesn’t lie, look how it was listing. 

You say “You seems to not know much about water craft.” (lol). I say “You seems to be duh one dat do not know much about water craft”. Watch the video above. Try not to be too embarrassed!

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By cognitis1, January 6, 2010 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment

Sea Shepherd described the Japanese whaler to have
been using a “loophole” and thus has conceded the
whaler to have been operating legally, while it has
been indicted by various sovereign nations for
deliberate violent crimes. Japan is a responsible
custodian of the world’s money supply and thus
supervises the economies of billions of people, while
Sea Shepherd is a renegade that accepts dubious money
from obscure sources for selfish purposes. Sink the
renegade harriers, repel the renegades with rubber
bullets, in international waters detain indefinitely
the renegades, sue the “Hollywood businessman” and
his kind and bankrupt them thus deterring others;
executing all the above should be facilitated by
Japan’s US lobbyists.

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By bogglesthemind, January 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

It is obvious from the video they could have avoided the collision.

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By DieDaily, January 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

The Sea Shepherds are not morons, they are a breath of fresh air. Greenpeace is a useless, foundation funded industry propaganda vehicle that couldn’t save a dolphin even if it wanted to. You guys just HAVE to see the “The Cove (2009)”. What a film. These Shepherds are bad-asses that tread where the combined lily-livered might of the fake corporate environmental complex fears to. In “The Cove” they penetrate a dolphin killing cove with night vision, hidden cameras, hidden hydrophones, and R/C blimps and helicopters. They are totally non violent and their ONLY weapon is publicity. They have no track record of ramming vessels or any other violent activity, unless you consider cutting open nets violence against poor helpless nets, or some tripe like that. The notion that they intended to sink their own vessel is stupid in the extreme.

The skeptics are correct to assume that the environmental movement has largely been co-opted. These criticisms in the comments, if they were against Greenpeace would not be misplaced at all, as it’s own founders (who now despise it) would totally applaud and agree. But to lump the Sea Shepherds in with the rest of the green-fascist sellout stooge movement is just not accurate. I’m sure the commenters meant well but didn’t look into the Sea Shepherds specifically.

They are Bad Ass defenders of fellow sentient creatures and they are beholden to NO ONE but the wildlife itself. Japan has banned their members from entering Japan or Japanese waters. You can tell they are legit because they are anti-pollution and pro-conservation but never bought into the warm-mongering hoax. They rock!! And they are winning, hands down. That’s why Japan is ramping up the violence. It’s a PR nightmare for Japan and it isn’t going to go away.

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By bogglesthemind, January 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Jamie

“As can be clearly seen in this video . . .”

That is not clear to me at all.  The ‘super fast’ ‘hot shot’ Ady Gil could have easily
avoided the collision.  You seems to not know much about water craft.

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By BaldwinDad, January 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

SAVE THE WHALES!!!

Collect the Set!!

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By Jamie Liver, January 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As can be clearly seen in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbuq0YEIPNU The whaling ship deliberatly turns to aim at the Ady Gil, rams her and then fires a water canon at the crew!

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By bogglesthemind, January 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Stupid happens.

Personally, I’m all for saving whales—but not morons.  I’m pretty sure losing the
boat will cut way back on the Sea Shepherds’ babe catching abilities.

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By PatrickHenry, January 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Call me Ishmael.  Perhaps greenpeace should step up the armaments.  I would support them.

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By bogglesthemind, January 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Stupid happens.

Personally, I’m all for saving whales but not morons.

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