Sea Shepherd boat damaged in collision with whalers; Bob Barker gave $5 million for third boat

Former Price is Right host Bob Barker donated $5 million to Sea Shepherd, the environmental organization whose anti-whaling activities are chronicled on Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, which funded a third ship that just joined their campaign. That third ship is, ironically, a Norwegian harpoon whaling ship that the organization retrofitted to use against Japanese whaling activities, and it just rescued people from the organization’s new, fast ship, which was damaged after being hit by a Japanese whaler.

The AP reports that the “Ady Gil — a high-tech speedboat that resembles a stealth bomber — was hit by the Japanese ship the Shonan Maru near Commonwealth Bay and had about 10 feet (three meters) of its bow knocked off.” Sea Shepherd first mate Locky Maclean told the AP, “They were stopped dead in the water when the incident occurred. When they realized that the Shonan Maru was aiming right for them, they tried to go into reverse to get the bow out of the way but it was too late. The Shonan Maru made a course correction and plowed directly into the front end of the boat.”

The “1,200-ton Norwegian built Antarctic harpoon vessel” Bob Barker, named for the host because he paid for it, rescued injured crew members from that vessel. Earlier, he said in a Sea Shepherd press release about his contribution, “I’m delighted to be able to help the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in its mission to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans. There is lot of talk about preserving our ecosystems and species, but this is one organization that puts these words into action.”

The host’s money also funded a helicopter, according to the organization. Here’s how it says they’ll be used:

“The long range fast ice class Bob Barker will take the lead in harassing the Japanese fleet and will be able to stay on station for three solid months without refueling. The Steve Irwin will be carrying the campaign helicopter and will coordinate all flight activities in addition to blocking loading operations on the Nisshin Maru, the factory ship. The Ady Gil, with twice the speed of the Japanese harpoon vessels, will concentrate on intercepting the fast chaser vessels to block their hunting activities.”

Conservationists: Whaling ship ‘plowed’ into us [AP]
The Time is Right for Bob Barker to Rescue the Whales [Sea Shepherd press release]

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.