Monday, June 8, 2009

Should Wale Wars Join Amver?

2008 Paul Watson, Mr. SeriousImage by guano via Flickr

Our friends over at gCaptain recently wrote about the second season of the television hit Whale Wars. Regardless of how you feel about Captain Paul Watson, and the crew of his fleet (coined Neptune's Navy), they steam in some dangerous waters. A review of Amver participants show none of the Sea Shepherd's vessels are enrolled in the Amver system.

No Stranger to Controversy

There is certainly no shortage of controversy surrounding the Sea Shepherd organization or what they do. Other mariners have asked if the crew of the Steve Irwin are licensed mariners at all. What doesn't change, however, is the responsibility to assist another mariner in distress. If the Steve Irwin is going to steam into treacherous waters they may certainly be in a position to assist. Should they enroll in Amver? Remember, Amver accepts enrollment from any vessel, regardless of flag or nationality.

Should Sea Shepherd Enroll Their Ships?

Captain Watson is no stranger to emergencies at sea. It was a Japanese ship he was trying to discourage from whaling that offered assistance when some of his crew went missing in a small boat several years ago.

Should Captain Watson enroll his fleet in the Amver system? Would you be willing to be rescued by the crew of the Steve Irwin? What about their primary mission? Could you put politics and activism aside for safety?
Do you really care about the political or environmental beliefs of the hand reaching down to save you?

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Anonymous said...

Acting in the capacity of a SAR controller I would be very hesitant to rely on such a crew or vessel in the event a SAR case was brewing. Granted I don't have any felling one way or the other when it comes to what they are doing, my hesitation comes when thinking of the vessel in need when it's the STEVE IRWIN we may be relying on. Odds are that if we are in need of one of these Whale Warriors, especially if they are off of a known whaling area, the vessel that may be asking for help may be that of a 'enemy' ship.

This is a thinking question that's for sure...

~Ryan (

Amver Maritime Relations said...

Thanks for providing a SAR controller view on this. One of the most interesting things I read (in the Paul Watson link) was how the Japanese whaling ship he tried to stop offered to help search for his missing crew.

In Amver we have Iranian, North Korean, and ships from other countries with differing opinions and ideals. What's important to remember is that the sea humbles everyone. I would like to believe the Steve Irwin would stop activism and begin search and rescue operations if called upon.

For the sake of the mariners let's hope we never find out.

veryuseful said...

I think they should enroll.... but what I really think is: what a great and provocative topic!

Nathan said...

Ryan, your response as a SAR controller surprised me.

As a SAR controller, I would be more than happy to have any vessel respond to a distress situation anytime, anywhere regardless of political ideals or cause. Yes, they have a political goal, but most of the ships in AMVER have the goal of making as much money as possible with as little expense necessary, yet they still participate in AMVER.

I think everyone who goes to sea, feels generally intimidated and awed by the power of the ocean against our meager attempts to control it and use it. A seafarer is a seafarer. I think the Sea Shepherds would support an activity like AMVER, but probably hesitate participating for worry of revealing the position and intended track of their ships, despite the confidentiality of AMVER.

JasonWilson said...

I think it is a tough question. On the one hand I think any ship that is searching adds to the odds of survival for sailors in distress.

However, the high likely-hood of this untrained, unruly mob and their delusional 'captain' running the Steve Irwin on-top of a PIW, dropping a launch on-top of them or backing down into a lifeboat would make them a survival risk and a blot on AMVER's record.

Any port in a storm and all, but I'm not sure the Steve Irwin, in present hands, counts for much in the way of a safe port. I'd rather they kept their distance.

Anonymous said...

I apologize if I seemed to come off a little course as I wrote that coming off of a night watch. I would like to clarify that I too would be happy to take any ship that is willing to help; what I was trying to point out is as a SAR controller I don't want to have to think about if they are going to "actually" help, or is this an enemy of theirs. In situations like this I hate to have to add to a QRC a step verifying if this "whale" ship is indeed going to help.

Sorry for any confusion.