The Steve Irwin then attempted to launch a helicopter when the three harpoon vessels moved in with water cannons and LRADs blazing in an attempt to destroy the helicopter on the deck. The Bob Barker moved into position to block the harpoon vessels and the Steve Irwin was forced to fire warning flares in front of the harpoon vessels to force them to back off.

The six ships, four whaler and two conservation vessels, engaged for over five hours. There were many near misses but no collisions. There were no injuries.

A Sea Shepherd Delta launched from the Steve Irwin annoyed the harpoon vessels with rotten butter bomb attacks.

All ships have backed off and the convoy of whalers and anti-whalers continues in a Southwestern direction into the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

“Tomorrow marks a full week that not a whale has been killed,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Our goal now is to make it two weeks and then three weeks. We will not tolerate the death of a single whale. If they attempt to kill and transfer a whale to the Nisshin Maru there will be inevitable collisions, because we will neither move out of harms way nor cease blocking the slipway. That I can promise.”

Photo credit : Barbara Veiga / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society