A radical environmental group says its high-tech protest power boat has been rammed and sunk by Japanese whalers near Antarctica.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society claims its futuristic Ady Gil vessel was attacked as it loitered near the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean. All six crew were rescued, the group says, but the boat was cut in half.
Whalers claim the protest boat had been launching projectiles and those on board trying to tangle propellers on the Japanese ship.
The showdown occurred amid growing pressure on Australia’s government to block so-called “spy flights” launched by Japan from Australian airports to try to foil the activists.
Commercial whaling was banned under a treaty in 1986. But the Japanese continue to cull whales on the grounds that it is for research purposes.