Close call for Sea Shepherd on Whale Wars

June 19th, 2010 - 10:04 pm ICT by admin  

By Anita Thomas

Closing in on the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru #2, Captain Watson orders an attack on the ship when it gets dangerously close to the Steve Irwin on the frigid Arctic waters. Watson calls in reinforcement from their others vessel The Bob Barker, named after game show host Bob Barker when he donated 5 million dollars to the Sea Shepherd Conversation Society.

Shortly after calling for help while preparing for an attack on the Shonan ship Captain Watson learns the Barker is having engine problems. The Barker tries desperately to stay afloat as 12 ft waves are crashing onto the bow of the boat. After several attempts to repair the engine and late into the night, success the ship Barker finally starts its engine.

They are now heading straight for the Steve Irwin to help fend off the attack from the Japanese ship.

The plan for the Barker ship is to deploy the Delta a small ri gid inflatable boat that is faster and more maneuverable, to intercept the Shonan and hopefully force it to back off the Steve Irwin. With the Shonan still, to close to launch the Delta, Captain Watson decided to pull one of his old tricks; he drops the stern line a propeller fouling line.

Hoping the line will tangle itself up in the propeller of the Shonan to disable the ship or at least slow it down, will give the Irwin time to get some space between them so they can launch the Delta. The stern line does the trick and the whaling ship begins to slow down, Steve Irwin’s crew begins to launch the Delta.

While trying to prepare the launch, the Irwin discovers the Shonan did not get distracted by the stern line and is gaining speed headed on a collision course towards the Irwin. Watson knows the Delta and crew will be in an extremely dangerous situation if they deploy, the force of the water from the Shonan will surely capsize them. Captain Watson cancels the lau nch and with disappointment decides it is time to back off the Shonan.

The Bob Barker ship heads into a 300-mile wide severe storm and has no choice but to continue towards it. With engine failure days earlier, they have become two weeks behind schedule and must continue. The crew prepares for the vicious storm and secures the equipment on deck. There is nothing left for them to do, but ride the storm out now.

With the Barker ship 2,000 miles away from the Irwin and the storm becoming more violent a warning alarm sounds causing concern. Water is beginning to enter the control room worrying the crew that the windows may not be strong enough to handle the fierce winds from the storm. All they can do at this point is hope for the best as they continue on course. Morning comes and the crew is enormously happy that the Barker survived the gale force winds and raging waters.

Watson and his crew hook up the Ady Gil also known as t he Harpoon Ship will be used to intercept the Shonan Maru. Their plan is to head back to the Shonan Maru in the still night as the Ady Gil silently and without notice heads towards the whaling ship. Spotted, the Shonan delivers a warning to the Ady. Could this be the end of the Ady Gil as they face off with the Shonan?

Watch Whale Wars on Animal Planet and learn more about the Sea Shepherd Conversation Society at http://www.seashepherd.org

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