Sea Shepherd’s latest brazen act of piracy involved the illegal boarding of a Japanese whaling vessel, with the captain being presented with an order to surrender to Sea Shepherd to face trial for attempted murder and to pay the group millions in restitution for supposedly sinking the Ady Gil.
The former skipper of the Ady Gil apparently approached the whalers on a jet-ski, hacked his way through safety netting and then clambered aboard the ship, intent on presenting the ship’s captain with a $3,000,000 bill for sinking his last ship, and demanding that the ship surrender to Sea Shepherd to face impartial Australian justice for the attempted murder of 6 Sea Shepherd pirates.
The Japanese ignored these theatrics and detained the intruder.
The boring Japanese version of events:
The Captain of the Shonan Maru No.2, a vessel in the Japanese Antarctic Research Program (JARPA II), gave notice today to the skipper of the former Ady Gil, Mr Peter Bethune, a New Zealand national, that in line with the Japanese Mariners Act he was taking necessary measures and restrained Mr Bethune.
Mr Bethune illegally boarded the Shonan Maru No.2 at 09:00 JST February 15 after using a knife to cut the vessel’s protection net. At that time, Mr Bethune cut his left thumb and has since received medical treatment from the Japanese crew. The Ady Gil skipper told the crew that, after boarding the Shonan Maru No.2, he had thrown the knife into the sea.
Mr Bethune is being held in custody on board the Shonan Maru No. 2. Besides the protective net tearing there is no damage to the Japanese vessel nor are there any injuries to the crew.
Doubtless Sea Shepherd’s version will include the hapless skipper being plucked from water by wicked whalers, injuring his thumb as he dodged a harpoon, only to be captured and forced to eat mercury laced whale meat by a gloating Japanese captain.
The ICR states in its Japanese press releases that it “cannot deny that we or another government agency may undertake legal measures in response to this illegal boarding of a Japanese ship,” however its English press release states only that the intruder is “in custody” aboard the vessel.
The Japanese foreign ministry issued the usual spineless platitudes, saying the incident was “regrettable”:
“We yet have not clarified his intention. Once we confirm the fact and nationality of the ship he belongs to, we would post strong protest and urge them to take an appropriate action.”
In previous incidents intruders were simply handed back to Sea Shepherd to continue raiding, so it seems they simply intend to ask Sea Shepherd to “take action” against one of their own.