Damaged anti-whaling stealth vessel sinks off Antarctica
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Last Updated: Friday, January 08, 2010, 20:31
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 afternoon.

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.


First Published: Friday, January 08, 2010, 20:31

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