The Shonan Maru Boarding Incident
Timeline of Events
Friday, January 6th 2012:
Three members of Forest Rescue visit the Steve Irwin in Fremantle Port with a request that Sea Shepherd lend them assistance in boarding the Shonan Maru #2. Their goal is to illustrate the lack of action by the government to end illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean and to attempt to slow down the Shonan Maru #2 to allow the Steve Irwin to escape the tail. Captain Paul Watson agrees to this request.
Saturday, January 7th:
The Steve Irwin waits off Rottnest Island to watch the movements of the Shonan Maru #2 and to wait for the Forest Rescue crew to make preparations securing a boat to bring them off the coast. At 1442 Hours, the Steve Irwin heads south along the coast of Western Australia. At 1900 Hours, Sea Shepherd posts online that the Steve Irwin is having engine troubles and will need to stop for repairs. Sea Shepherd is well aware that the whalers monitor the Sea Shepherd website. At 2305 Hours the Steve Irwin stops and drifts some eleven miles off the coast of Bunbury. The Shonan Maru #2 stops eleven miles to the stern of the Steve Irwin.
The three members of the Forest Rescue boarding team are Geoffrey Tuxworth, Simon Peterffy, and Glen Pendlebury; All are from Western Australia.
1. Board the Shonan Maru #2
2. Slow the Shonan Maru #2 down to allow the Steve Irwin to escape.
3. Focus international public attention on Japan's continued illegal whaling operations and the lack of action by the Gillard government.
4. Embarrass the Japanese security vessel by breaching their security thereby causing them to lose face.
Sunday, January 8th:
Midnight: Sea Shepherd dispatches two boats, the Delta and the Bindi to rendezvous with the Forest Rescue crew. The three men are picked up from their boat. The boats then move towards the Shonan Maru #2 under cover of the dark of night.
0301: The Bindi breaks down. Captain Watson communicates that the Delta carry on with the mission.
0430: The Delta pushes between two spikes and up against the hull of the Shonan Maru #2 and the three men negotiate their way over the rails and through razor wire to get on deck. With the men on deck both the Delta and the Bindi return to the Steve Irwin at 0630 Hours
Position of the Shonan Maru # 2 at the time of boarding: 32° 57” 48” South and 115° 20’ 24” East. (16.2 nautical miles off the coast of Western Australia).
Monday, January 9th
The Shonan Maru #2 continues to pursue the Steve Irwin. Position at noon is: 37° 41” South & 115° 14” East. (173 nautical miles south of Australia)
Tuesday, January 10th
The Shonan Maru #2 continues to pursue the Steve Irwin. Position at noon is: 41° 19” South & 115° 58” East. (380 nautical miles from Australia.)
Yushin Maru #3 is 4 miles off the beach at MacQuarie Island as documented by the Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker. Sea Shepherd offers to recover the three Forest Rescue activists from the Shonan Maru #2 in order to help the government avoid the cost of sending the Ocean Protector to recover the men. The government does not respond.
Wednesday, January 11th
Shonan Maru #2 continues to pursue the Steve Irwin. Position at 1100 Hours is: 44° 13 South & 119° 51 East (560 nautical miles from Australia). As of 1700 Hrs AEST, the Yushin Maru #3 remains inside the 12 mile territorial limit of MacQuarie Island.
Position of Ocean Protector is unknown. No branch of the Australian government has been in contact with the Steve Irwin during this timeline. The only contact has been with the offices of Senator Bob Brown and Liberal Member of Parliament Greg Hunt.
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