At around 11:15pm (Monday, March 2) Tasmanian Police came to the Steve Irwin gangplank and asked the gangplank watch Julie to get the highest ranking officer on board. They stood at the gangplank and reported to me that "someone called in a bomb threat about 20 minutes ago, stating that it would detonate in 30 minutes. You therefore have 10 minutes left." I immediately went to the bridge, rang the abandon ship alarm, then announced the bomb threat on the speaker system. There were five people on board besides me.
Five crewmembers were onboard, some crew were ashore and five others were on King Island rescuing stranded pilot whales.
In total, four police cars showed up. The police believe they have a suspect. They were able to trace the call, so they know where it was made, and where the phone is registered. After waiting past the bomb detonation time Ben and I searched the ship for any suspicious objects, then brought the rest of the crew onboard for a more thorough search. No bombs have been discovered.
The Tasmanian Police were very helpful in this matter and seem to think they have a good chance of finding the person responsible.
This is not the first time we have received a bomb threat nor will it be the last. Usually threats of a bomb mean there is no bomb, but despite this all threats should be taken seriously. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has many enemies because this planet and the oceans have many destroyers.
I remember one bomb threat back in 1986 where the caller said he was going to detonate a bomb at a radio station I was doing a talk show in Vancouver. The caller said that the bomb was planted to protest my "violence."
This indicates of course that we must always be on guard against human irrationality. There have been many good, intelligent, and wonderful people killed by the cruel, the ignorant, and the irrational of our species.
I appreciate the quick response of the Tasmanian police and the readiness of the Sea Shepherd crew. As ranking onboard officer Pedro Monteiro responded coolly and efficiently. The event was given the seriousness required without panic or anxiety.
We must always remember that we are in a war to save this planet from ourselves and retaliation must always be expected and attacks from cowards who make bomb threats should always be anticipated.