|Tuesday, August 28, 2012|
O.R.C.A. Force’s Unmanned Aircraft Makes Successful Test Flight Over Cape Cross Seal Colony
During the early hours of the Namibian morning Sea Shepherd’s UAV made a first-ever flight over the seal colony where each morning hundreds of baby seals are brutally clubbed to death. Flying over the Cape Cross colony during the seal slaughter has never been done before.
The O.R.C.A.Force team consist of two rock solid campaign veterans and two top gun UAV-experts.“It‘s an absolute privilege to work with such a great team, says O.R.C.A. Force Director Laurens de Groot. The aviators provide exceptional skills. They look at anything and immediately start wondering how they can make it fly. It’s like they’ve thrown Charles Lindbergh, the Wright brothers, and MacGyver in a magic hat and pulled out these two world-class experts.”The team operates from an undisclosed location somewhere in the Namib desert.
O.R.C.A Force has to battle fierce winds up to 25 mp/h which sandblast the fragile equipment. Besides struggling with the harsh elements they must cover over 7 miles with an unmanned aircraft that was homemade on a shoe string budget. UAV pilot “Mr. Biggles” elaborates, “we’re making the impossible possible in this remote place, far away from electricity or other resources that we generally need to make something fly. But I’m convinced we can do it again, this time with cameras.”
Now that the test flight was successful, the undercover team will continue to pursue their goal- getting footage of the seal clubbers. The sealers and the Namibian Government are using everything in their power to cover up their crime against nature. Navy ships, armed convoys, and police surround the colony’s perimeter. Despite all their security measures, it seems they have neglected their airspace.
O.R.C.A.Force continues to operate from the desert, seeking shelter from the scorching sun during the day and moving during the dark hours of the African winter. “They are never going to find us. We’re going to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee until the seal slaughter stops forever,” says South African team member Dinielle Stockigt.