Beck Straussner (42) of the United States was knocked off his jet ski by the Yushin Maru No. 2 in a confrontation between whalers and whale defenders in the waters off the coast of Antarctica.
The incident happened at 67 Degrees 05 minutes South and 163 Degrees 59 minutes West about 580 miles off Marie Byrd Land at 1700 Hours (Eastern Australia Standard Time).
In an effort to slow down the tailing harpoon vessel, the Steve Irwin deployed three inflatable boats and a jet ski in an attempt to force the Yushin Maru No. 2 to fall behind to allow the Steve Irwin to escape.
Beck was knocked off his jet ski into subzero Antarctic waters when he was struck in the chest by one of the water cannons on the harpoon vessel. The Yushin Maru No. 2 did not stop to offer assistance.
Mr. Straussner was able to swim to his jet ski and was able to get underway again. He returned to the Steve Irwin some nine miles away. In response to the question of how he felt about the incident, Beck laughed and said one word – “cold.”
Beck Straussner is from Maui, Hawaii and is the 2nd Officer on the Steve Irwin.
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2011-12 Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign