The Deadliest Wave: The Tsunami and Sea Shepherd

Magnitude: 8.9 Earthquake off Japan

Date/Time: Friday, March 11, 2011 at 02:46:23 PM at epicenter
Location 38.322°N, 142.369°E

Scott West in TaijiScott West in Taiji

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was put on alert in five locations yesterday afternoon.  We remain on alert at two of those locations – Japan and the Galapagos.

Our Cove Guardian crew is still missing. Cove Guardian leader Scott West was with Mike Vos, Tarah Millen, Carisa Webster, and Marley Daviduk, and accompanied by Brian Barnes of Save Japan Dolphins.  They reported seeing the water recede, and Scott Mike, and Tarah were reportedly in a van at the time.  The others were reported to have been on higher ground.  These individuals were last heard from just minutes after the tsunami warning horns began to blow, and have not been heard from since.  They were very close to where the full force of the tsunami hit Japan, and we hope they are okay and that the problem is simply that much of the communication infrastructure has been knocked out.  All the Cove Guardians in Iwate Prefecture were either American or Canadian and the embassies in Tokyo have already been informed.  The Japanese whaling fleet is still about a week out from arriving back in Japan and thus was not impacted by the earthquake and the tsunami.

Captain Locky MacLean ordered the Gojira to head for sea out of Tahiti to avoid the wave. They did so and have recently returned to port in Papeete.

The crews on the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin were on minor alert in Hobart, Tasmania.

Our operation on the Galapagos is under threat of the tsunami.  We have not had any reports back yet.

Sea Shepherd’s Founder and President, Captain Paul Watson, was on the island of Palau some 2,000 miles south of Japan with Sea Shepherd CEO Steve Roest at 1930 hours last night, the time the wave would have struck the islands.  There was hardly a ripple, which is a very good thing because there really is no high ground in Palau.

We anxiously await word from the Cove Guardians, and all of us with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society wish to express our support and sympathies to the people of Japan who have suffered this horrific natural disaster.  We are also very concerned about the threat posed by some of the nuclear reactors that have been destabilized by the quake and the tsunami.  We also wish to express our support and concern for the people living in the path of these deadly waves – especially to those people in Northern California, Hawaii, and the pacific coast of South America.

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