Last January the power boat Ady Gil was hit by the Japanese whaling ship, Shonan Maru 2, during the Sea Shepherds‘ protest/reality TV show. Who was responsible for the collision is still the subject of controversy. Now the captain of the Ady Gil, Pete Bethune, has resigned from the Sea Shepherds after accusing Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Boss Paul Watson of lying about the sinking of the Ady Gil. Bethune claims that Watson ordered the scuttling of the vessel following the collision. Watson responded by claiming that Bethune lied in his testimony in Japanese court
Sea Shepherd word war: ‘sinking ordered’
Bethune has accused Watson of ordering him to sink the boat as a publicity stunt, and quit Sea Shepherd in disgust at the organisation’s antics.
Bethune says he has now quit the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and is accusing the organisation of deliberately misleading the public.
However, Sea Shepherd says Bethune didn’t quit – he was fired for laying the blame on Watson when questioned by the Japanese authorities during his five-month incarceration.
Watson says Bethune’s testimony, pointing the finger at him, means there is now a warrant for his arrest in Japan and his name is on the Interpol Blue List, making travel between countries difficult.
WHAT SEA SHEPHERD SAYS
- The Ady Gil sank while being towed to port after a collision with the Shonan Maru No 2.
- Bethune broke Sea Shepherd’s non-violence policy by bringing a bow and arrow on board the Ady Gil.
- Bethune’s initial expulsion from Sea Shepherd during his Japanese trial was a ploy to encourage a more lenient sentence.
- Bethune’s false testimony to Japanese authorities reportedly led to the issue of an arrest warrant for Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson and his addition to Interpol’s “Blue List”.
- Sea Shepherd supported Bethune as an anti-whaling activist but wished to “quietly” dissociate itself from him.
WHAT PETE BETHUNE SAYS
- He was asked by Sea Shepherd to scuttle his boat after the collision.
- He was given permission to take the bow and arrow on board, then criticised by Sea Shepherd when arrows were found by the Japanese.
- His expulsion from Sea Shepherd hurt his case in court.
- His testimony followed legal instruction.
- He still “loved” Sea Shepherd but felt the organisation was too dishonest for him to stay.
United States businessman Ady Gil, who donated the boat which bore his name to Sea Shepherd, backed Mr Bethune’s resignation.