Coast Guard Attempts to Ram Sea Shepherds Seal-Saving Ship
Sea Shepherd Conservation Societys flagship, the R/V Farley Mowat arrived on Monday the 28th into the icy waters of the seal hunt area. The ship was in the middle of the sealing fleet at 0600 Hours AST today when the Canadian seal slaughter officially opened.
The Farley Mowat was surrounded by approximately 72 sealing vessels and shadowed closely by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen.
The Farley Mowat has a crew of twenty-five volunteers from seven different nations.
Sea Shepherds founder and president, Captain Paul Watson, a veteran of many seal-saving campaigns, reported at 0950 Hours AST this morning:
The Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Amundsen is attempting to board the Farley Mowat. They have rigged a large cage on a derrick which it appears they intend to swing over the side with a boarding party. They also have a large chunk of metal on a wire rope attached to another derrick which appears to be a set-up for a wrecking ball.
I have asked them to verify if we are in violation of any regulations. They have refused to answer. We have not been told we are under arrest and we have not been told that we breaking any regulations. They have been maneuvering dangerously close to the Farley Mowat and at points only a few feet have separated the two vessels.
At 0840 Hours AST, he reported:
Coast Guard Icebreaker Amundsen Attempted a Ramming of the Farley Mowat
The seal slaughter opened at 0600 Hours. Due to the gale during the night, numerous sealing ship were in need of assistance by the Coast Guard. The Farley Mowat was able to document numerous sealing violations on the ice by the sealing vessel Newfoundland Leader.
At 0830 Hours, the Farley Mowat moved close to the sealing vessel Newfoundland Leader when the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen approached at high speed, running down seals in the ice. The icebreaker came straight towards the starboard bow of the Farley Mowat on a collision course.
The Farley Mowat had to do a full reverse to avoid the collision. The incident was documented on numerous video cameras. The Amundsen continues to attempt to intimidate the Farley Mowat.
Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd have been fighting sealers since 1976, and over the course of a quarter of a century have saved hundreds of thousands of seals from slaughter. Our creative methods have included petitioning the government; spraying seal pups with harmless red dye to render their white pelts commercially useless; blockading sealing vessels in the harbor; physically placing ourselves in between the sealers and defenseless seals; and bringing celebrity attention to the issue.