Japanese whalers in the Antarctic claim their boat the Nisshin-Maru was rammed by Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise earlier today, while Greenpeace claim they were rammed by the whaler’s Nisshinn-Maru.
Photographs emailed to me by the Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research appear to show the bow of the Arctic Sunrise approaching and then colliding with the starboard side of the Nisshin-Maru.
The first photo appears to be taken from the starboard side of the Nishhin Maru looking at the port side of the Arctic Sunrise. The second photo appears to be from the same side of the Nisshin Maru looking back at the starboard side of the Sunrise.
Greenpeace prides itself on the photographs and video images its has taken over recent days and weeks showing its war against whaling in the Antarctic, click here.
There’s obviously two sides to this story, and I’m keen to post Greenpeace’s photos and their explanation here.
Update 10.15pm, 8th January 2006
Greenpeace now have a media release with a picture showing damage to the bow of the Arctic Sunrise at their website, click here. This picture is consistent with the claim by the Japanese that they were rammed by Greenpeace, however, in the caption to the picture, Greenpeace claim the Japanese boat cut across the front of their boat thus the damage to the bow. In the text of the media release Greenpeace claim the Japanese boat struck their boat port side. What really happened?
Update 9am, 9th January 2006
Greenpeace have now uploaded video of the collision at their website, click here. The video shows the Arctic Sunrise (which appears the size and shape of a tug next to the very large and apparently near stationary Nisshin Maru) heading towards and then ramming this much larger ship port side. There is then an interview with presumably the captain of the Arctic Sunrise, in which he explains that the large Nisshin Maru should have given way to the Arctic Sunrise because Greenpeace had right-of-way. The interview ends with the Greenpeace Captain stating: “I maintained my course at speed”. The video shows that Greenpeace took no evasive action, maintaining its course which appears to have been to ram the Japanese ship.