Sea Shepherd’s terrorist attacks on Japanese ships have for the first time drawn blood after the group fired rockets filled with acid onto the deck of a whaler, injuring three crewmen.
Several of Sea Shepherd’s ships approached a Japanese whaling vessel in Antarctic waters, and began a lengthy series of attacks.
The Japanese ship filmed Sea Shepherd as they launched a number of acid containing “rockets” at their ship, landing on the deck and spraying three crewmen with butyric acid.
The crewmen complained of pain and swelling to their faces and eyes, and received first aid onboard; it is the first time the group has directly injured crewmen with its attacks.
Sea Shepherd claims the acid to be a “non-lethal weapon,” although it appears this could describe any acid used in this fashion, and there have been claims the acid is contained in glass vessels which break on impact.
Wikipedia describes the acid as “corrosive to skin and mucous membranes, and hazardous to marine life.”
The Sea Shepherd ships reportedly also attempted to foul the propellers of the Japanese ship, and used “high powered lasers” to disrupt their operations.
Cameras on both the whaling vessel and the Sea Shepherd ships recorded the incident; a source with the Japanese explains that “they’re doing it for the cameras – one of these days soon there should be a large scale attack.”
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary condemned the attacks: “This is outrageous. Fortunately nobody was severely injured, but this affair is most unfortunate.”
The Institute of Cetacean Research claims to be pursuing international legal action to “stop their violent acts and unmask the perpetrators,” but the government itself has still yet to do anything in defence of its ships save lament how “unfortunate” and “regrettable” it all is.