Gil filed the US$5 million lawsuit last week, almost three years to the day since the state-of-the-art trimaran Ady Gil sank. You'll recall it was rammed by Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2 in the Southern Ocean in January 2010. The crash sliced off Ady Gil's prow, and it sank hours later.
At the time, SS's then-president Paul Watson said his crew had tried all day to salvage the NZ$1.5 million trimaran, but were unable to keep it afloat. But ten months later Ady Gil's skipper, kiwi Pete Bethune, claimed Watson had ordered the vessel deliberately scuttled to increase public sympathy.
|Ady Gil, with the REAL|
guilty party in the background.
I find Bethune's claim curious, as viewers of the Whale Wars series will recall seeing the very same video footage Watson referred to! Quite frankly, even IF AG WAS repairable, SS was faced with major difficulties towing an open-ended severely damaged vessel thousands of miles to safety. Weigh that - and the expensive repairs - against 'making the best of a bad deal' (waving goodbye to a terminally-damaged vessel, and continuing the fight), knowing there was every likelihood of a huge sympathy vote...well, it's obvious which route was better for SS.
And as for Mr Gil planning to claim in court that he let a confrontational anti-whaling group 'use his boat on the understanding they take care of it', without considering a worst-case-scenario such as did occur, that's extremely naive.
Still, throw enough mud against SS and some may well stick...