Masters commanding Japanese whaler Shonan Maru No. 2 and the whaling protest boat Ady Gil departed from International Collision Regulations and engaged in conduct that resulted in the collision says a report released by Maritime New Zealand. The report highlights the need for all masters to exercise restraint and ensure safety remains their highest priority, says Maritime New Zealand, MNZ.
Among the report’s conclusions:
Shonan Maru No. 2 was an overtaking vessel within the meaning of the International Collision Regulations and, as such, the master of Shonan Maru No. 2 had an obligation to keep clear of Ady Gil;It was considered likely that Shonan Maru No. 2 was aware of Ady Gil and its location; Shonan Maru No. 2 had ample opportunity to avoid creating the close quarters situation that developed and the subsequent collision; Shonan Maru No. 2 failed to keep well clear of Ady Gil.
The master of Shonan Maru No. 2 was almost certainly aware of Ady Gil’s unpredictability, and that its master could not be relied on to act as a ‘normal’ seafarer might. Commentary from the Shonan Maru No. 2 video suggests the Shonan Maru No. 2 master was anticipating an attempt to foul Shonan Maru No. 2’s propeller. This added an element of uncertainty to the close quarters situation.