Sunday, February 08, 2009
Dutch Vessel Rams Japanese Ship For Second Time. The Dutch vessel, Steve Irwin, has today rammed another of the Japanese vessels in the Antarctic today, this time the Yushin Maru No.3. The latest incident occurred when the Yushin Maru No. 3 was transferring the last remaining minke whales caught today to the Nisshin Maru. The Steve Irwin approached the Japanese vessel and rammed the stern with its bow. The stern of the Yushin Maru No. 3 was damaged in the attack although there have been no reported injuries. “So-called “Captain” Watson is thumbing his nose at all international laws that are aimed at ensuring safety at sea”, said the Director-General of the Institute of Cetacean Research, Mr Minoru Morimoto. “The Steve Irwin "captain" is completely ignoring the safety of crews aboard both the Dutch vessel and the Japanese research vessels and engaging in extremely dangerous behavior.”“Due to Sea Shepherd's increasingly violent actions the risk of a more grave and serious accident happening is increasing by the hour,” he added. The Australian Government, which has harboured and allowed the Steve Irwin to refuel and reprovision, and the Government of the Netherlands, which has registered and flagged the vessel, should also be held accountable for allowing this vessel to commit serious criminal acts at sea. This is the second time today that the Steve Irwin has rammed a Japanese vessel. Earlier in the day, the Dutch vessel rammed the Yushin Maru No.2 at the stern when the Sea Shepherd crew attempted to stop the transfer of a minke whale to the Nisshin Maru.