Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Flooding Derails Sea Protest Ship

Two Coast Guard vessels and three rescue aircraft escorted a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Ship to Port aux Basques Sunday night. The Farley Mowat was carrying 28 passengers from the conservation group to the Magdalen Islands. They were supposed to monitor the birth of harp seals as part of the group's protest against the seal hunt. However, the boat began to take on water Sunday morning. Alex Cornelissen, the first officer on the Farley Mowat, said water rapidly came through a small hole in the main engine room. "I think we were just unlucky," he said. "We might have hit an ice floe underneath the waterline and it probably just punctured the hull at the wrong spot." Cornelissen said the ice was not particularly thick, and the hole is only about 25 millimetres in diameter. "It is a very small hole but the water came in very, very rapidly," he said. Cornelissen said an underwater welder will be sought Monday to repair the boat. A decision on whether to continue their excursion to the Magdalen Islands will be made in the next couple of days.
The ship Farley Mowat was escorted by the Coast Guard to Port aux Basques

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