Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson has hit out at a “bitter” and “angry” former activist who says he was told to sink an anti-whaling ship as a publicity stunt.

Peter Bethune, the former captain of Sea Shepherd trimaran Ady Gil, claims he was ordered to sink the vessel after it collided with a Japanese whaler in the Southern Ocean in January.

The millionaire benefactor after whom the trimaran was named has told Radio New Zealand he has no reason to doubt Mr Bethune’s account of events.

Mr Bethune, who was subsequently arrested by Japanese whalers and taken to Tokyo for trial, claims Mr Watson told him to sink the boat to garner public sympathy.

“The boat was definitely salvageable. It was still rock-solid from the engine room and the sponsons back. It would have stayed afloat for sure,” he told Radio New Zealand.

He claims not all the crew knew what was planned – only himself, Mr Watson and another crew member.

“I was ordered not to tell any of the crew, not my family and especially not Ady Gil. Now Ady Gil was the owner of the boat,” Mr Bethune said.

“[It’s] just so dishonest and I am embarrassed for my role in it.”

Mr Bethune’s claim has sparked an email exchange between him and Mr Watson, with the former labelling the organisation “morally bankrupt”.

Mr Watson has hit back at the criticism, claiming Mr Bethune is bitter over his falling out with the organisation.

“The allegations have no basis at all,” Mr Watson said.

“He’s an angry man.”

Mr Watson says he is considering defamation action against Mr Bethune.

Full ABC Online story HERE

Profile, the New Yorker:
Neptune’s Navy
Paul Watson’s wild crusade to save the oceans.
by Raffi Khatchadourian
Read the full article HERE