Report from Captain Paul Watson
From the Steve Irwin
December 22nd, 2009
61 Degrees 59 Minutes South
148 Degrees 47 Minutes East
The Japanese harpoon vessel Shonan Maru No. 2 is engaging in some very bizarre activities.
At 1300 Hours, the Japanese vessel moved in with water cannons blazing. As they came closer, they turned on their LRAD's and surprisingly they began to broadcast the following message over their loudspeaker: "Steve Irwin, cease your aggressive action. Stop your aggressive action. We have the authority to repel you."
This was followed by, "Warning, warning. This is Shonan Maru No. 2's Captain. Stop your destructive actions immediately or we will have to hold you to Federal law."
It is ridiculous to accuse the Steve Irwin of attacking the Shonan Maru No. 2. The Japanese vessel is much faster. The crew of the Steve Irwin has been trying to get the Shonan Maru No. 2 off their trail for eleven days.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 set off the collision alert system fourteen times as it chased and circled the Steve Irwin.
The crew of the Steve Irwin managed to deploy a stern protection line. The Shonan Maru No. 2 ran over the 100-meter long line and snapped it and then backed off. Water cannons from both ships made the crew on both ships very wet but there were no direct hits causing any injuries. Some camera gear was however damaged by the water cannon.
After nearly two hours of harassment, the Shonan Maru No. 2 backed off. There was no visible indication that the vessel suffered prop damage.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 gave false information to Australian authorities in Fremantle when they stopped in the Australian port for fuel and provisions. The Shonan Maru No. 2 reported they were not part the Japanese whaling fleet. In fact, the Shonan Maru No. 2 is specifically permitted this year to engage in whaling activities and is currently assisting in protecting the main body of the whaling fleet.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 is keeping the Steve Irwin from closing in on the main body of the whaling fleet by relaying real time data on the position of the Steve Irwin. The fast interceptor vessel Ady Gil is expected to rendezvous with the Steve Irwin on Wednesday morning.