It has been reported via Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd tonight that the Japanese ice breaker Shirase has run aground after it struck a rock in the sea approximately 700 km from the Russian Molodyozhnaya Antarctic observation station in the Antarctic.
Though the Japanese Government vessel has been reported as taking on sea water, its double hull has prevented it from sinking. It is reported the Shirase will try to break free from a rock at high tide.
The context this story was originally reported in had to do with the impeccable safety record of the Sea Shepherd fleet throughout all of their anti-poaching campaigns in the Antarctic waters compared to this mishap.
It is alleged, helicopters from the Shirase supported the illegal Japanese whaling mission landed military personnel on-board the Japanese refueling tanker during last year’s campaign.
As a PR/marketing guy as of this moment I have not seen ANY news on this incident. I personally feel this event resulted from poor seamanship on the part of the leadership commanding this Ice Breaker. And the leadership was most like pressured from the Japanese Government in the justification of the illegal Japanese whaling presence in the Southern ocean.