The Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot are struggling slowly northward through another storm.
The Sea Shepherd scout vessel Brigitte Bardot was struck by a rogue wave that cracked the hull and severely damaged one of the pontoons of the vessel, while fighting heavy seas in pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet. The Brigitte Bardot was at 51 degrees 42 minutes South and 99 Degrees 21 minutes East or 1500 miles southwest of Fremantle, Western Australia at the time.
'We are watching the Brigitte Bardot very closely,' said Captain Paul Watson. 'The seas are getting rougher and the winds are increasing and there is a great deal of pressure being put on the damaged pontoon of the Brigitte Bardot. It looks like we will have to struggle through these conditions for another 24 hours.'
The crew of the Brigitte Bardot are wearing their survival suits around the clock. A story in a Western Australian newspaper claiming that Sea Shepherd abandoned the crew of the Brigitte Bardot is false and misleading. The Japanese government security ship Shonan Maru 2 continues to tail the Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot.
The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker continues to pursue the Japanese whaling fleet. It may take two weeks for the Steve Irwin to rejoin the chase, but last season the Bob Barker was successful in shutting down the whaling operations on its own.
Full story here
by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
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6:40 AM Sat 31 Dec 2011GMT
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