|Thursday, February 11, 2010|
Keeping a Promise
My name is Matt Kimura and I’m honored to serve as bosun on the Bob Barker.
As bosun I’m responsible for the deck, small boats, and the 8-person deck crew.
I spent 16 years working on ships and tugboats. I have extensive small boat open ocean experience. 10 years ago, I became a grammar school teacher.
When I told my students how the Japanese whaling fleet intends to come down to Antarctica to slaughter 950 whales, they let out this collective gasp. I didn’t need to explain about treaties, endangered species, research quotas, or sanctuaries. The children knew in their heart that killing whales was wrong. It was at that point that this campaign took on a new meaning for me.
I promised my students that I would go down to Antarctica with Sea Shepherd and do everything possible to make sure that they and all children grow up in a world where whales are cherished and protected not hunted down and slaughtered. I intend to keep that promise.
Three days ago we engaged the Nisshin Maru. As we pulled up behind the factory ship, three harpoon ships and the security ship, the Shonan Maru, surrounded us from behind. They then started circling us like a pack of wolves. They would pass as close as 50 meters alongside then cut dangerously close across our bow.
When the Yushin Maru 3 came up within 40 meters that was close enough. The
Yushin Maru 3 then veered right into our side. I yelled for the deck crew to get down as you could hear metal screeching and our ship heeled over.
A quick survey of our vessel revealed a one-meter gash just above the waterline. The Yushin Maru 3 however went dead in the water and has not been seen since.