I emailed Glenn Inwood yesterday. He is a spokesman for the Japanese whalers in the Antarctic whose mother ship the Nisshin Maru had to be evacuated last week after a fire broke out.
Greenpeace has been concerned the stricken ship could end up an ecological disaster with 1.3 million litres of fuel potentially leaking into the ocean.
I asked Mr Inwood for an update on the situation and he emailed me this morning:
Over the week, the crew first dealt with electrical and mechanical checks, replacing wiring that was burnt out, getting the engines going. The engines are apparently in good shape, able to function and ready to go.
After that, they looked at navigational and safety aspects of the vessel, such as checking the two radars, rudder control, autopilot navigation, etcetera.
As of yesterday, I understand they were unfreezing pipes, getting the desalinator going, getting freshwater back into the system, and cleaning out living quarters that were flooded from fighting the fire.
We have benefited from excellently calm Antarctic weather. As we have assured media, if conditions deteriorate and the vessel needs to be moved from where she is, then of course that will be done. While they were repairing engine, etcetera, they also hooked up a tow just in case it was required.
The crew has worked day and night tirelessly to get the vessel ready for sailing. It’s been a very trying time for them. Not only have they lost a colleague, they are receiving those reports from Greenpeace and Chris Carter and that’s making it more difficult for them. I hope to have good news for you soon.
According to Radio New Zealand the ship was moving under its own power this afternoon taking a short test run.