Anti-Whaling Activist Boards Japanese Ship, Demands $3.4M for Sunken Boat, Attempts Citizen Arrest

A crew-member from the Sea Shepherd has once again boarded a Japanese whale-hunting vessel. Pete Bethune clambered aboard to deliver a $3 million bill for his sunken ship and attempted a citizen’s arrest of the head of the Japanese security vessel. In the early hours of the morning, the skipper of the sunken “Ady Gil” ship, climbed aboard a Japanese security ship. He boarded the ship by jumping from a moving Jet Ski onto the Japanese ship, which was traveling at 14 knots. This is possibly one of the most bad-ass things that has recently happened in the animal rights movement.
In October 2009, Sea Shepherd unveiled their new ship, Ady Gil–named in honor of its benefactor. The ship was “a fast, futuristic looking trimaran that recently set the world record for global circumnavigation,” but on January 8, 2010 the whalers rammed and sank the Ady Gil. The anti-whaling activist maintain that the Japanese intentionally rammed the Ady Gil and are calling for compensation and criminal charges. In any case, this confrontation marked a new level of conflict between whale-hunters and the animal activists from Sea Shepherd. 
How did Captain Bethune manage to sneak aboard a moving ship without being noticed? Well, he didn’t accomplish this feat on his first try. He missed his first jump and was swept away by the frigid waters, but that didn’t stop him. The Jet-Ski driver picked him up and they went right back at it. On the second try, Bethune made it onto the Japanese ship and climbed aboard, avoiding the netting, spikes, and other obstacles.

From the Sea Shepherd website:

“Captain Bethune… slipped and fell into the sea and was twirled about in the wake of the whaling ship. The jet ski picked him up for a 2nd attempt. This time he succeeded and clamored onboard the whaling ship without being noticed. Captain Bethune then calmly walked across the deck up the stairs to the next deck and then up the ladder to the monkey deck above the bridge. He then sat there for an hour and a half undetected as he waited for sunrise so that the Steve Irwin could launch it’s helicopter to document his service of notice to the Captain of the Shonan Maru #2.

“When the Sea Shepherd helicopter arrived, Captain Bethune calmly knocked on the bridge wing door. A crewmember opened the door and actually tried to shoo him away. When Captain Bethune did not move, the crewmember walked around him and looked over the side to see if there was a boat. Not seeing one, he looked bewildered as he walked past Captain Bethune, opened the door, re-entered the bridge and walked inside and closed the door. Captain Bethune then opened the door and entered the wheelhouse.”

A videographer from Animal Planet filmed Bethune delivering his message. Unfortunately, there is only footage of Bethune delivering the message to the bridge:

Bethune and Sea Shepherd are demanding that the skipper of the Japanese security boat submit himself to arrest and the Japanese commit to covering the cost of the destroyed ship. Bethune told the skipper, ”I will only leave the Shonan Maru when you transfer me to the Steve Irwin, or when we arrive on land, be it in New Zealand or Australia.” The main Sea Shepherd ship remains in pursuit of the Japanese harpooning and factory ships.

photo cred: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an anti-whaling group, is pushing the envelope in their campaign to end illegal whale hunting.


Lindsey Williams
Lindsey Williams4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Ingrid James
Ingrid James5 years ago

thank god for brave souls like bethune and the sea sheppard crews - you are much admired and i hope that your perseverance of this atrocity will someday stop all whaling

Cindy C.
Cindy P6 years ago


Cindy C.
Cindy P6 years ago


Nat R.
Natalie R6 years ago

Are there any governments looking into the illegal smashing of the Sea Shepherd ship? There answer is no. This is outrageous and unacceptable

Lee M.
Lee M6 years ago

Well said Bill K....

Joanna P.
Joanna P.6 years ago

I really admire people who have the courage to take action in this way, I think there should be more people like this ready to stand for causes like this one
I am proud and reasured to know things like this happen

Bill K.
Bill K6 years ago

Sea Shepherd ships are crewed by people brave enough to stand up to atrocities and illegal acts while rest of the world with their well-trained navies and coast guards cower behind diplomacy and economic excuses. They have every right to board illegal whalers to make a citizen's arrest and demand payment for their sunken boat. They have every right to stand up for whales being tortured and killed, some of which in our lifetimes may become extinct because the world remained silent.

What Captain Bethune did was no more an illegal or foolish act than Gandhi standing there waiting for the British "law" to beat him with their clubs. Besides, the whales don't care about laws or what court will hear what charges. They are being savagely killed while people complain about Sea Shepherd trespassing on illegal whalers or throwing rotten butter onto the decks of whale slaughterhouses.

A Japanese whaler fires an exploding harpoon into a whale tearing apart the whale's inner organs then fires automatic weapons at the whale for 40 minutes or so while the whale thrashes in agony slowly dying. Sea Shepherd crew members are the only ones actively saving whales from this experience.

bruno G.
alicia G6 years ago

I really think that Bethune is very gutsy and admire the passion. Now for the people saying that the skipper is making the young crew do these kind of gutsy things, do you honestly believe they are being "forced" to be there or do anything?

Good job and I'm glad they are doing something about this, because I, with much guilt, am not.