Sydney: Anti-whaling group the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society confirmed on Friday that their stealth
powerboat, the Ady Gil, sank in waters off Antarctica after it
was severely damaged in a skirmish with Japanese whalers.
Locky Maclean, first mate on board the group`s flagship
vessel, the Steve Irwin, told Kyodo News the Ady Gil was being
towed by their other boat, the Bob Barker, when it sank around
4:20 am Melbourne time.
"The Bob Barker was towing the Ady Gil and the central
hull started filling with water. The weather got tough and we
had to cut it loose," Maclean said.
The boat became submerged and sank about 290 kilometers
north of Commonwealth Bay, off the coast of Antarctica.
The group had been towing the 24-meter trimaran to the
Dumont d`Urville French Antarctic station.
Maclean said the French base has an ice-breaker vessel
with a 50 ton crane, which the group had planned to use to
transfer the damaged ship to the ice-breaker or onto dry land.
He said the Sea Shepherd group had planned to bring the
Ady Gil to Australia.
The A$1.5 million (about US$1.4 million) Ady Gil was
damaged during a collision with the Shonan Maru No. 2, a
security vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet, on Wednesday
One crew member on board the Ady Gil sustained broken
ribs in the collision, but there were no reports of injuries
on the Japanese vessel.
Both parties blame each other for the incident, which
sliced 2.5 meters off the bow of the Ady Gil.