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Whale Wars Captain Responds to Critics

As an activist in a completely different issue, I just had to giggle a little when I read the Captain of the Sea Shepherd’s screed.  Oh my how familiar this sounds.  To be fair, I have no doubt that Paul Watson’s seamanship skills are greater than my own, in that if he has any seamanship skills, he’s got a leg up on me.  But I also didn’t take an non-ice-rated ship to Antarctica, sail through an ice field, and try to ram a Japanese ship.  That’s my real problem with what he’s doing.

When it comes to the sea, there is no shortage of know-it-alls and self-appointed experts. It’s easy to sit in judgment from the comfort of a couch with a remote in one’s hand. It’s easy to fire off ad hominem attacks to make up for the fact that those who do, actually do and those who can’t sit back and whine and bitch about those who do.

I don’t know much about the sea, but I have some idea what ice cold water does to human physiology, and I know enough of engineering to know that ramming ships into each other on the high seas has a high likelihood of sinking said ships.  The Sea Shepherd has sank ships before.

Any accusations that Sea Shepherd is a violent organization cannot be backed by real evidence. Does Sea Shepherd destroy equipment used in illegal activities to kill whales and to poach fish? The answer is yes. Is this illegal or violent? The answer is no. If it were illegal we would be arrested. If it were violent someone would be hurt.

Just because someone has robbed twenty people without anyone getting hurt doesn’t make the act any less violent, which is why it is properly classified as a violent crime.  It is only through the Grace of God that no one has been seriously injured or killed by this man’s egotistical attention whoring nonsense.  Putting seamen into ice cold water can kill them.  End of story.  There’s no debating that point.  It was the Japanese who were attacked, engaging in an activity that though internationally condemned, is considered legal by the Japanese government.  Your beef is with the folks who make the decisions in Tokyo, not the sailors.  The sailors are entitled to defend themselves, legally and morally, with deadly force if necessary, to prevent these pirates from sinking their vessel and endangering their crew.

Paul Watson’s ego is going to get someone killed.  It’s only a matter of time.  When that does happen, hopefully someone will have the fortutude to put the man in jail where he belongs.

17 Responses to “Whale Wars Captain Responds to Critics”

  1. Bitter says:

    I find it funny that he accuses critics of being bought off by the whalers. That’s two wheelbarrows full of cash we’re missing.

  2. Nomen Nescio says:

    his whole ego-stroking post there seems to boil down to, “i’ve got away with it all so far, therefore the sun must shine outta my ass”. or maybe he’s got some more substantial point to make. i wouldn’t know; i can’t spot it behind his all-obscuring bloated ego.

    yeah, if you can take a non-ice-rated ship through an ice field and come out all right on the other side, perhaps you are a really impressively skilled captain. it’s possible, and a landlubber like me actually wouldn’t know skill in a sea captain if he saw it.

    but it’s also possible that a man who does such a thing is immensely lucky while simultaneously immensely stupid. that kind of person could just as easily claim himself skilled — not merely stupid and lucky — and i wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, being myself not qualified to judge.

    yet i do know this much: a prudent sea captain would not take such a risk without a bloody damn good reason. and i can tell the difference between a prudent captain and an reckless one, even though i could not sail a ship myself.

    and bragging about how many other vessels you’ve sunk is not something any respectable, sane sailor would ever do. that’s sociopathic, for anyone outside a military naval force in times of open warfare.

  3. Rob K says:

    “Paul Watson’s ego is going to get someone killed. It’s only a matter of time. When that does happen, hopefully it will be only him.” Fixed that for you… :^)

  4. RAH says:

    This is in international waters where there are no laws only maritime rules.

    Maritime rules are that no man is to be abandoned in the sea. That is why pirates are not left in the sea.

    The reason no one shoots these idiots is that depending on what nationalities the crew is from that could start a war.

    This is an international PR war against the Japenese whaling industry hoping under the UN and Law of the Sea which US is not a signatory to make whaling illegal. In the eantime they hope to make tt unprofitable by interfering with the whaling.

    The reaction of most to the show is anger against these sea pirates despite our sympathy to their cause.

  5. ishida says:

    They could end that chance of getting Japanese seamen killed by giving them some explosive harpoons or maybe some good rifles, and orders to protect their ship at all costs.

    But nooooo, they have to be worried about the pirates and terrorists.

  6. sburch79 says:

    I love that show – it’s like a train wreck. They are probably the most incompetent group of people I have ever seen. And the Captain – what a douche. Last season he claimed one of the whaling ships shot him. It looked so staged and faked it wasn’t funny.

  7. Sigivald says:

    Sea Shepherd is thus literally a piratical organization.

    Pirates are, under the traditional laws of the sea, free game.

    I want to see a Japanese whaler light them up.

    But sometimes I’m not a very nice person. At least when it comes to violent extremist types.

  8. Linoge says:

    [Disclaimer: This opinion is, as always, my opinion, and is not a reflection on or representation of my previous employer.]

    Well, I can say this much to Mister Watson: I have stood on the bridge of a US Navy warship with a pair of binoculars in my hand in locations as varied as the Panama Canal, the Straits of Hormuz, Leyte Gulf, the Straits of Singapore, the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, Guantanamo Bay, and countless other locales throughout the world. I have served as the Officer of the Deck when dealing with other warships scant hundreds of yards away during DIVTAC maneuvers. I have guided ships through UNREP proceedures. I have stood Plane Guard a thousand yards off the aft end of a carrier. I have navigated and helped navigate throguh some of the busiest and most dangerous bodies of water in the world. I have chased down drug-runners and I have tended aid to stranded mariners. And with the experience I garnered through all of those situations where I was far from the comfort of my couch and television, I can say this much, for certain: you are unequivocally full of shit.

    You are endangering sailors’ lives. You are perpetrating willful and malicious destruction of other individuals’ property on the open seas – otherwise referred to as “piracy”, “terrorism”, and/or “act of war”, depending on your point of view. You are engaging in heinously dangerous navigational methods, up to and including one of the most eggregious of all nautical crimes – intentionally ramming your own ship into another ship, with malice aforethought, and threatening both ships’ crews with a positively horrific death in icy waters.

    I honestly do not give a tinker’s damn about your cause, or how important you believe it to be – what you are doing is wrong, and there is no changing that. If you have complaints over what certain individuals are doing, then take it up with their flagged country. However, the very second you start endangering the lives of sailors on the high seas, then you lose any semblance of whatever high ground you thought you had.

    As for the rest of his long-winded, egotistical, bleeding-hearted, martyristic rant… good Lord. Methinks he dost protest too much.

    And I do not mean to quibble, Sebastian, but the any temperature water can kill. There is only about a ten-degree gap between “cold enough for hypothermic death in about three-to-six hours” and “warm enough for sharks”… The Navy had a rather handy chart I wish I could find online that documented how long you had to survive in the water based on water temperature, but no such luck.

  9. Philbert says:

    As always, attention whores and seamen don’t mix.

  10. bj says:

    You people don’t know what you’re talking about. He didn’t ram the other boat, they collided. If he had rammed it, it would go down.

    He can have all the ego he wants. He’s saving whales.

    What have any of you done to save them?

  11. Sebastian says:

    I care much less about the whales than the Japanese crew on the ship that was rammed. Look at the video. That wasn’t an accident.

  12. JKB says:

    Not illegal? Trying to foul the screws of a ship isn’t illegal? Throwing explosive devices onto another ship isn’t illegal?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HejYngWPV0A

    The failure of Australia to meet their obligations as a Port State by permitting the Sea Shepherd to be resupplied and depart from their ports or The Netherlands to meet their international obligations as a Flag State do not make these criminals legal. Both countries should have investigated the collision with the Japanese whaler before allowing the Sea Shepherd to proceed.

    There are dozens of international conventions as well as a long history of Admiralty law. Specifically, The Netherlands is not meeting its obligations under the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (Rome 1988).

    The ramming video clip above the Sea Shepherd is clearly in violation of the COLREGS which mandate that an overtaking vessel is give-way vessel and must maneuver to ensure a safe passage (not to mention they didn’t do sound signals).

    And there is always Rule 2b

    Rule 2

    Responsibility

    (a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

    (b) In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

    Not to Paul Watson, colliding with another vessel in open water when you are clearly the give way vessel is not a good way to demonstrate your seamanship. Nor is flipping your small boat while launching because your “First Mate” forgot to secure the painter.

  13. Nomen Nescio says:

    He can have all the ego he wants. He’s saving whales.

    he’s endangering humans is what he’s doing.

    saving whales is a good thing, i agree with that much. but this damn fool is, as has been noted, eventually going to get somebody killed; the way he’s going on, it’s just a matter of time.

    now, try to picture the aftermath of that killing. doesn’t really much matter who dies, on which side of the issue; there’s just no good outcome of that. he’s not going to be saving any whales while in jail for anything between reckless endangerment and murder two, not to mention all the various admiralty law charges.

    what’s more, he’s going to be a huge liability to the cause of stopping whaling in general. any number of responsible environmentalists are going to be tarred with his brush, and the whaling industry will come off as either blameless or victims. Watson isn’t helping solve anything, he’s fixin’ to start a whole new set of problems.

  14. Yosemite Sam says:

    “what’s more, he’s going to be a huge liability to the cause of stopping whaling in general. any number of responsible environmentalists are going to be tarred with his brush, and the whaling industry will come off as either blameless or victims. Watson isn’t helping solve anything, he’s fixin’ to start a whole new set of problems.”

    Also, his tactics make it less likely that the Japanese people will begin to lose their appetite for whale meat. In all likelyhood, they will eat even more of it just out of spite.

  15. Dave R. says:

    “Paul Watson’s ego is going to get someone killed. It’s only a matter of time. When that does happen, hopefully someone will have the fortutude to put the man in jail where he belongs.”

    I see what you’re trying to get at, but that’s pretty hard on the first person Watson kills. Is this not a gun rights blog? Do we not believe in lawful self-defense? PR disaster or not, better somebody puts a hole in Watson than allow him to sink a ship in icy water.

  16. TCK says:

    Does the Japanese government not have any torpedo planes?

  17. W. Jackson says:

    1) Last week Watson announced an ambitious plan for his next campaign to the Antarctic; it’s an all Australian theme.

    2) Last week Japan passed a law authorizing it’s military and Coast Guard forces to use any force necessary to protect vessels operating in international waters from piracy; suitably armed Coast Guard vessels may operate in the demilitarized region of the Antarctic.

    3) Last week at the 61st IWC conference, the Australian delegate said that their investigation into the ramming attacks by the SSCS is still under investigation and could lead to court.

    4) Last week a senior official in the Dutch government announced that they were pursuing action to change their laws so that they can quickly revoke the registry of the MV Steve Irwin because of it’s violence and refusal to obey navigation rules.

    Last week was not a good week for Paul Watson.

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