Coast Guard Icebreaker Amundsen Attempts Ramming of the Farley Mowat

Amundsen and Farley Mowat

From: The R/V Farley Mowat

0840 Hours AST

The seal slaughter opened at 0600 Hours AST. Due to the gale during the night, numerous sealing ships were in need of assistance by the Coast Guard.

The Farley Mowat was able to document numerous sealing violations on the ice by the sealing vessel Newfoundland Leader.

At 0700 Hours AST a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter warned the Farley Mowat crew that they were in violation of the seal protection regulations by being within a half a nautical mile of a seal hunt.

Captain Paul Watson informed the Coast Guard that there is a provision in the regulations that allows for people who reside within a half a nautical mile of a seal hunt to approach the sealers. Captain Watson informed the Coast Guard that the Farley Mowat is the residence of the crew and therefore the crew are not in violation of the regulations.

The Coast Guard responded that they would get back to us on this point.

At 0830 Hours AST, the Farley Mowat moved close to the sealing vessel Newfoundland Leader when the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen approached at high speed, running down seals in the ice. The icebreaker came straight towards the starboard bow of the Farley Mowat on a collision course.

The Farley Mowat had to do a full reverse to avoid the collision. The incident was documented on numerous video cameras.

The Amundsen continues to attempt to intimidate the Farley Mowat.

The Farley Mowat was contacted by the Amundsen and Captain Watson was told to order his crew off the bow of the Farley Mowat. When asked why, the Amundsen's Captain replied "They could be hurt if they remain there."

"How could they be hurt?" asked Captain Watson.

"Who can tell?" replied the Captain of the Amundsen.

When asked by Captain Watson if that was a threat, there was no answer.