After seven weeks at sea opposing the Japanese whale killing, the Sea Shepherd flagship. 'Farley Mowat', arrived at Cape Town on Tuesday (24th). On Wednesday (25th); the ship, Captain Paul Watson and some of the crew were detained indefinitely. The ship and crew are currently on board under 24-hour guard.
An official from the South African Maritime Safety Authority said the Farley Mowat, a ship of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, did not have the required certification.
'They don't have the right certificates for the skipper, the first mate or the chief engineer,' the official told Reuters on Thursday.
The Farley Mowat docked in Cape Town on Wednesday after seven weeks at sea. It departed Melbourne, Australia, on December 6.
The official said the detention was in line with Canadian maritime laws and followed correspondence from Canada requesting that the authorities check the ship.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) served papers that said the vessel was 'not in possession of an international ship security certificate or a ship security plan'.
SAMSA ordered that a guard, approved by the port security officer, be permanently stationed at the gangway of the Farley Mowat and that another 'continuously patrol the deck' during the ship's stay. The Farley Mowat is currently detained 'indefinitely'.
Herbert Henrich, an adviser to the board of Sea Shepherd said, 'This is obviously because of pressure from Japan on Canada. They want to make things difficult.'
'They say the vessel is inadequately manned by referring to some Canadian regulation that says the captain and first mate must be Canadian. The Captain is, but the first mate is Dutch. Normally this rule would not apply outside Canada.
Contrary to some reports the name of the first officer is not 'Paul Cornelissen'; it is 'Alex Cornelissen'. (From various sources)
[Reposted from Melbourne Indymedia http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2006/01/104828.php]