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Old 08-01-2010, 12:21   #1
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Ady Gil Collision - Who Did What?

I've been playing the vids over n over for the last half hour, and two things are clear.

On the vid taked from Bob Barker, in a position dead ahead of the Japanese vessel, it is obvious that the Japanese ship veered to starboard about 15 degrees as she approached Ady Gil. If she had stayed on course she would have passed Ady Gil by a small margin at the speed Ady Gil was making. After the impact the Japanese ship then veers to port about the same amount or more.

On the vid taken from the Japanese ship, the Ady Gil was making very little speed at first but then when the larger ship changed course to ram, she went to full ahead and started to accelerate for about 3-4 seconds before the impact.

The Japanese ship was obviously trying to ram, but what were they thinking on Ady Gil?

Comments, preferrably without all the political guff?


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Old 08-01-2010, 13:05   #2
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I don't think it's a given that the whaler was trying to ram the Ady Gil - they may have been trying for real close, but then AG sped up at the last moment (as you acknowledge). This type of incident was inevitable, imo.

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Old 08-01-2010, 13:09   #3
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Here's a link to the story/video if you haven't heard of it. Japanese whaler rams and sinks protest vessel.

Jerry Cope: Ady Gil Sinks in Southern Ocean -- An Exclusive Interview With Captain Chuck Swift of the Sea Shepherd Vessel Bob Barker
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Old 08-01-2010, 13:42   #4
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That is a pretty misleading title. An equally accurate tile might read, "Sea Shepherd Boat Rams Whaling Vessel".

One could examine the videos until the cows come home but it is irrelevant what happened during the time that the videos were running. By the time the videos were running, both vessels had become the give way vessels under the COLREG's. So to examine the videos and then try to assign blame is an exercise in futility. Under the COLREG's both vessels became responsible for avoiding this collision long before the videos started.

We don't know and probably will never know the thought processes of the person who had the con on the Japanese vessel or on the Sea Shepherd vessel. What this means is we will never be able to establish intent by examining the videos. Do we honestly know whether or not a decision mistake at the last few seconds was made by either party? A legal mistake by both parties was made by breaking the COLREG's a while back. In fact this is what the COLREG's requires, that decisions to avoid a collision are made well in advance. Better decisions are made well in advance which creates a much larger buffer for avoiding a collision.

Feel free to speculate all you want about the collision, just keep the politics of whaling out of the discussion or the thread will be closed.

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Old 08-01-2010, 13:55   #5
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David's right - we'll never know, without being in the minds of the skippers.

But just for the fun of it, my own guesses on why the Ady Gil skipper accelerated just prior to collision would be either

1. he wanted to ensure collision;

2. he was panicking, misjudged the rapidity of collision, and thought he might power into a sharp turn away in time;

3. he was panicking, wanted to get reverse thrust, but engaged forward thrust first in error.

1. is certainly plausible, given Sea Shepherd's history of repeatedly employing deliberate collision tactics between their vessels and the Japanese fleet. But I think it is unlikely, because of the position of the crew members on board Ady Gil. It does not seem to me like they were hunkered down ready for a deliberate collision. So I'm betting 2. or 3.
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Old 08-01-2010, 14:01   #6
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I just noticed the other thread on the same topic has been closed....right after I made my last post. My mistake.

I think the discussion on this topic has been thoroughly exhausted anyway, besides, us mods are sick of the politics which has repeatedly been dragged into the discussion after numerous warnings.

Sorry guys, but I need to close this thread as well. Please do not start another one on the same collision.

Thanks for understanding.

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Old 08-01-2010, 14:06   #7
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It's clear they provoked a fight and failed to avoid an collision. It's also clear the whalers fought back and also failed to avoid a collision. They were both obliged to do so and neither did. I'm not seeing the need to say who was more at fault matters given the scant evidence we have. We can see the videos and now it seems the need to argue about things when there is too little evidence to discuss. So once again with no real facts we have another misadventure to haunt Cruisers Forum.

but what were they thinking on Ady Gil?
Sometimes in the comics you see the little balloons coming from the mouth with words written. I didn't see any. They were probably thinking about dinner. I'm 90% sure.
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Old 08-01-2010, 16:21   #8
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NZ Inquiry...

As there is going to be an inquiry in New Zealand I'd be pretty sure the skipper of the Ady Gil will be making a statement.

My guess is he pushed the throttle forward to avoid an imminent collision.

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