Ady Gil Captain Attempts to Serve Arrest Warrant to Captain of the Shonan Maru No. 2
On Friday, January 15, 2010, the crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s vessel Bob Barker surprised, chased, and engaged the Shonan Maru No. 2, a security ship from the illegal Japanese whaling fleet. The engagement took place between the hours of 8:30 pm and 12:30 am (AEST).
The Shonan Maru No. 2 recently achieved infamy when it violently attacked the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil, threatening the lives of its crew and sinking the vessel due to sustained damage. Today though, the Shonan Maru No. 2 was on the run from the Bob Barker, the irony being that Sea Shepherd adheres to a strict policy of non-violence and has an unblemished 30+ year record of never causing or sustaining any serious injuries while at sea.
Under New Zealand law, a citizen is empowered to serve an arrest warrant on a suspect for a crime that carries a penalty in excess of eight years imprisonment. The charge of attempted murder qualifies and thus Captain Pete Bethune acted in accordance with New Zealand law in his attempt to serve the captain of the Shonan Maru No. 2 who deliberately sank his ship and almost killed his crew and himself.
After a surprise launch, one of Sea Shepherd’s small boats snuck up on the Shonan Maru No. 2 and over a period of more than four hours the Bob Barker slowly closed the gap and harassed the vessel, ordering it to stop and submit to arrest for the crime of attempted murder on the crew of the Ady Gil. Each evasive maneuver from the Shonan Maru No. 2 cost the whalers critical speed.
Said Captain Paul Watson, President and Founder of Sea Shepherd, "Captain Pete Bethune had little choice but to attempt to serve the arrest warrant himself. Down here at the edge of nowhere, without back up from his government, he found he was the only sheriff in town. A captain of a ship that has been sunk by another captain has the authority to bring his attacker to justice. Captain Bethune has been attempting to do just that."
Attempts by this illegal whaling vessel to discourage the small boats launched by the Bob Barker included the use of Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs), several very high-pressure water cannons, and evasive maneuvers. Some of the crew aboard the Shonan Maru No. 2 were also wearing cylinders on their backs attached to (as yet unidentified) hand-held devices resembling weapons.
Once it became apparent that the Shonan Maru No. 2 would not submit to the arrest, the Bob Barker turned around to continue the hunt for the factory ship of the illegal Japanese fleet. This will prove difficult with the Shonan Maru No. 2 continuing to follow and monitor the Bob Barker, but Sea Shepherd’s flagship Steve Irwin is also on the prowl for the illegal whaling fleet, and hopes are high that the floating house of blood known as the Nisshin Maru will soon be located—and shut down.