Whaler, Activist Ship Collide Off Antarctica

Second clash this year in Japanese whaling standoff
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2010 7:08 AM CST
In this photo released by Sea Shepherd, the anti-whaling group's ship the Bob Barker, left, and Japanese harpoon boat the Yushin Maru 3 collide in the waters off Antarctica Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010.    (Glenn Lockitch)
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(Newser) – The anti-whaling ship the Bob Barker and a Japanese harpoon boat collided in the icy waters off Antarctica today—the second major clash this year in the increasingly belligerent standoff over Japanese whaling. The activist group Sea Shepherd, which sends vessels to confront the fleet each year, said a small hole was torn in the hull of its ship, but it was above the water line and the vessel was not in danger of sinking, the AP reports.

Sea Shepherd's founder, Paul Watson, claimed the Japanese ship rammed the Bob Barker—named after the game show host who financed its purchase—as it blocked access to the Japanese fleet's factory ship, where the whales are butchered. The collision follows a Jan. 6 incident in which a Japanese whaler struck Sea Shepherd's high-tech speed boat Ady Gil and sheared off its nose. The Bob Barker then came to rescue the crew of the Ady Gil, which sank a day later.

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