Australian Authorities to Investigate Sea Shepherd Over Southern Ocean Antics

The SSS Sam Simon is the newest addition to the Sea Shepherd fleet and a former research ship of the Japanese Government. Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
The SSS Sam Simon is the newest addition to the Sea Shepherd fleet and a former research ship of the Japanese Government. Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Wednesday that its surveyors will inspect Sea Shepherd Australia’s vessel, the SSS Sam Simon, and interview its crew in Williamstown this Friday regarding a number of alleged incidents in the Southern Ocean in February.

Sam Simon is the only Australian-flagged vessel involved in the reported incidents, which included reports of collisions with Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research fleet and pollution by vessels, and is therefor subject to Australian law, AMSA said in a statement.

The investigation will include an inspection of the Sam Simon, examination of available documents and records, and interviews with the crew.

AMSA says that if sufficient evidence of a breach of the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) is found, AMSA may refer a brief of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for prosecution under the Navigation Act 1912.

AMSA surveyors will also assess any available evidence regarding reports that vessels may have spilled diesel into the sea.

Additionally, any information collected that is related to foreign-flagged (registered in other countries) vessels will be referred to the relevant maritime authorities of the countries in which the ships are registered, which is in accordance with international law.

gCaptain’s coverage of the incidents can be found HERE.