The Ady Gil. Photo: JJ Harrison via Wikipedia

The Ady Gil. Photo: JJ Harrison via Wikipedia

Yesterday was a bad day for Cap’n Paul Watson. Not only was he forced to resign from his post as president of Sea Shepherd in wake of legal issues facing him and his organization, but he was also sued by the real Ady Gil in connection to the 2010 sinking of the MY Ady Gil.

According to the gossip website TMZ (yup, I went there), Paul Watson, founder and now ex-president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has been sued by Gil, who says he actually owned the high speed catamaran that famously sunk after a collision with a Japanese whaler while filming the show “Whale Wars.”

In the lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in a L.A. courtroom, Gil claims that Watson used the 2010 collision as an opportunity to promote the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s anti-whaling efforts by lying about the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the vessel.

Gil maintains that he had lent Watson and the Sea Shepherd the boat on the basis that they would take care of it. Obviously that didn’t happen, and it sunk allegedly following the collision with the whaler even though footage of the boat actually going down was never released.

Gil says that the collision only resulted in damage to the Ady Gil’s bow and that the damages could have been repaired. The suit claims that Watson, being the marketer as he is, saw the collision as an opportunity to garner support for his cause and secretly ordered members of his crew to scuttle the boat “under the cover of darkness”, then blamed the whole thing on the Japanese.

Now Gil is pursuing more than $5 million in damages from Watson for failing to keep up with his end of the bargain.

As far as his resignation goes… Watson was forced to resign as president of Sea Shepherd U.S. and Australia in wake of a recent U.S. injunction barring him and his organization from physically attacking, or approaching within 500 yards, of any Institute of Cetacean Research vessels navigating on the open sea.

Stay tuned…

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    • JT

      No, reasonable efforts were NOT made, nor was salvage performed before she was sunk, a choice made by “admiral”/captain Watson.

      Ady has neither need nor desire of publicity. The fact is that SSCS was to pay for the part of the vessel and never did so. Then, after the incident (which SSCS capitalized on rather heavily) they refused to pay for the lost boat, even though the contract (which I’ve read, which is available on our website) requires that SSCS be responsible for the value of the boat.

    • ddpalmer

      Thehe captain of the Ady Gil claims that Watson decided to scuttle the vessel rather than bring it to port. And Mr Watson made the decision to leave the Ady Gil, with almost empty fuel tanks, by itself in the Southern Ocean for days waiting to be refueled knowing that aggressive Japanese vessels were present.

  • JT

    As to his resignation, that wasn’t forced. It was a brilliant move on the part of Paul Watson, to sidestep the 9th District order that they keep a large distance from whaling vessels. Since this is occurring in international waters, the ONLY jurisdiction the 9th can have is founded in that a U.S. citizen is in charge of that act. If Watson (the only U.S. leader) isn’t in any position within the organization, the order becomes moot. Watson was brilliant in that decision.

    • Jamie McCroskey

      That is not correct, the 9th circuit court is upholding international law and they have universal jurisdiction. The specific items before the court involve issues of safety at sea under several international treaties such as SUA (Rome Convention) and UNCLOS. Though the US is not a signator to UNCLOS, they do support most of the provisions of that treaty including the portions on piracy. The US has far reaching power to extend jurisdiction to enforce these treaties and uphold their obligations under international law.

      It is illegal to both interfere or attempt to interfere with the navigation of a vessel on the high seas under SUA. Both ramming and propfouling are arguably such interference’s. The specific wording of SUA is here, see Art. 3

      The specific US law that pertains to this is found in US Code, title 18, ss2280. Note the list of offences and the far reaching jurisdiction claimed by the US.

      • eric

        Too bad that very same jurisdiction dramatically fails when it comes to international regulations on marine life protection…

        • ddpalmer

          What are you talking about?

          The US court obviously doesn’t have any jurisdiction over Japanese companies in Japanese vessels operating in international waters. Also what international regulations on marine life protection do you believe the court isn’t upholding?

    • ddpalmer

      No the order didn’t become moot when Watson stepped down. The SSCS is a US chartered organization, they claim the vessels on their annual US tax filings and list the costs of operations on maintenance of teh vessels in those same US tax documents. Thus the US courts have jurisdiction over the vessels no matter who is in charge or where they are operating. In fact if the US court sees this recent action as an attempt to circumvent the injunction they could hold the SSCS in contempt.

      • Rolf

        Actually, none of the vessels are owned by Sea Shepherd USA. They are owned by Sea Shepherd France, UK, and Australia.
        All of which are seperate organizations.

        The Lawyers have all this worked out after what happened when the Steve Irwin was arrested in Shetland.

  • eric

    I’ve been following Pete Bethune en Earthrace/Ady gil from the moment the boat was launched. Met Pete and crew, been aboard this magnificent spectacular vessel and never stopped following up on Pete… Trough time I learned tat Pete is a real straight forward standup bloke, PW on the other hand does not shy away from dodgy snake oil scheme’s to obtain his goal. The Ady Gil / Earthrace was deliberately sunk while towing because that yielded an underdog marketing position. Don’t get me wrong here, I do have a lot of respect for anyone out there on the water protecting marine life and environment, but I do regret that PW shamelessly abuses others (even if they have the same goals)to get whatever he wants. Note that the vessel (Ady Gil) was LEASED to sscs, also note that there would be no lawsuit if PW payed the 500K$ he still owed…. Now sscs looks at a 5 million claim. Way to go Paul.

    • Jamie McCroskey

      They were low on fuel not out, try and explain the prop wash from the Ady if you can, the man at the helm admitted he panicked and hit the throttle, it’s in the Maritime NZ report.

  • The Usual Suspect

    Ady Gill should have had the foresight to know that something like this could happen to his boat when loaning it to a reckless group like Sea Shepard and their equally reckless leader Cap’n Paul Watson. I like see people like this eat their own. Well done, sir.

  • Jock

    I think that the Japs are entirely to blame for the ramming of the Ady Jil. They are fishing illegally in Australian waters and all measures should be used to stop them. Now that the Steve Irwin has water cannons to match the Japs, they should hook up a foam branch pipe and instead of hooking up a canister of blood and bone for foam, they should hook it to a canister of that smelly acid that they use to hose the Japs right dowm and stop the flenseing completely

  • Galloway

    By the tone of this article I take it there still are people out there who don’t care about the part where Paul Watson is trying to prevent the extinction of whales, or perhaps only give lip service to it.

  • Randall Cook

    Who crashed into the Ady Gil? The Japanese. Ady, you signed up for it, so go take your lawsuit to the Japanese whalers.

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