|Wednesday, September 05, 2012|
O.R.C.A Force UAV Captures First Footage of Sealers
At the crack of dawn the O.R.C.A Force successfully launched their unmanned aircraft to capture footage of the sealers at Cape Cross, Namibia. The images captured from the video stream shows the area of the seal reserve, the sealers stepping out of their vehicles and the full truck leaving the Cape Cross area to drive off to the seal processing factory.
“It was an incredibly challenging flight," explains UAV-expert Jake Weber. “The wind was pulling our aircraft away from land and towards the ocean. You don’t want to be over water when the battery runs out and you still have to cover another 7 miles to make it back home. At one point we were more concerned about retrieving the uav then getting the footage.”
Just before the aircraft reached base camp, the team followed an emergency landing procedure as it became clear the UAV wouldn’t make it back with the battery power that was left. “The UAV landed in the hills between us and the sealers,” says team member Rosie Kunneke. "We had to run, duck, hide and run until we got it back. But we did, and neither the sealers nor their security have seen us. Although, I have to say, the security guards are acting more nervously around the seal colony since before the last couple of days.”
The sealers continue with the world’s largest and cruelest marine mammal slaughter in the world. They won’t stop until they’ve reached their quota of more than 90,000 seals. Sea Shepherd continues to expose this barbaric crime against nature until it forces the corrupt Namibian government officials to cease their efforts of wiping out endangered seals.
The images below were pulled from video footage that Sea Shepherd will release later this year in Seal Wars II. “The extracted pictures aren’t great quality just yet,” tells Laurens de Groot. “But it shows that the team is capable of getting it with basic flying equipment. We’re going to stick around until we get even better footage of the barbaric sealers and the corrupt security crew in action. Our tech-guys continue to work on endurance of the UAV and quality of images. We did it once, I’m sure we can do it again!”