flag_japan_tinyJapanese translation

At 0500 Hours Sydney, Australia time on February 4th, the three harpoon vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet literally attacked the Steve Irwin.

The Yushin Maru #2 has rejoined the fleet after leaving the area on December 20th with propeller damage. All three harpoon ships moved in to flank the Steve Irwin as the Sea Shepherd ship continued to chase the factory ship Nisshin Maru.

The Yushin Maru #2 initiated the attack by cutting dangerously close across the bow of the Steve Irwin from port to starboard in seas that were far from calm. The other two harpoon vessels Yushin Maru #1 and Yushin Maru #3 made the same dangerous maneuvers

The movements of the Japanese vessels are especially dangerous in the choppy seas and dense fog conditions.

"It has given us some very dramatic footage for the next season of Whale Wars," said Captain Paul Watson. "But if their intention was to intimidate us, it did not work. When it comes to playing chicken on the high seas, we have much more experience than the whalers."

Today is day four of the Steve Irwin's pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet and four days in which not a single whale has been killed.

"The crew is feeling very good, very happy and we are all enthusiastic about keeping the whales safe for as long as we can," said Amber Paarman of South Africa.

The whaling fleet is crisscrossing the Ross Sea erratically. The whalers appear to becoming increasingly frustrated and angry that Sea Shepherd has shut down their whaling operations.


news_090204_1_2_Steve_Irwin_engages_the_Japanese_harpoon_whaling_vessels
The Steve Irwin engages the Japanese harpoon whaling vessels,
the Yushin Maru's No. 1, 2, and 3.
Photo by Steve Roest/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


news_090204_1_4_Yushin_Marus_No_1_2_and_3_emerge_from_fog
Japanese harpoon whaling vessels, the Yushin Maru's No. 1, 2, and 3
emerge from fog during an engagement with the Steve Irwin.
Photo by Steve Roest/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


news_090204_1_1_Nisshin_Maru_fires_its_water_cannons
Japanese factory whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru fires its water cannons
as the Steve Irwin chases in Antarctica's Ross Sea.
A harpoon whaling vessel sails nearby in the background.
Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


news_090204_1_3_Yushin_Maru_No_3_crosses_paths_with_factory_ship_the_Nisshin_Maru
Japanese harpoon whaling vessel Yushin Maru No. 3, left, crosses paths
with factory ship the Nisshin Maru during an engagement with the Steve Irwin.
Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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