"They have assaulted and kidnapped two of my crew," Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin. All activity has been documented from the Sea Shepherd helicopter and the fast moving Delta vessel. The Steve Irwin has dispatched a small fast Delta boat and a helicopter to attempt to persuade the Yushin Maru No. 2 to stop and release the hostages.
The protesters had gone aboard the whaler to deliver a letter, saying they had done so because the Japanese had refused to acknowledge radio communications.
"I am not boarding your ship with the intent to commit a crime, to rob you or to inflict injury upon your crew and yourself or damage to your ship," the letter said. They were delivering the message and then "request that you allow me to disembark from your vessel without harm or seizure."
Director-general of Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research Minoru Morimoto confirmed the two men had been taken into custody, and said they were taken to a secure room. "Any accusations that we have tied them up or assaulted them are completely untrue,"
However, decide for yourselves by looking at this picture:
Mr Morimoto said."It is illegal to board another country's vessels on the high seas. As a result, at this stage, they are being held in custody while decisions are made on their
future," he said in a statement.But Watson said as the two boarded Yushin Maru the Japanese attacked them.
"First of all they tried to throw Benjamin Potts overboard, but he managed to get his way out of that. "Then they assaulted Giles Lane. He seems to be in some pain. They tied him up incredible number of ropes. "It looks like some kind of bondage movie. Its ridiculous."
How you can help:
Meet at Japanese embassy in London at 2.30pm tomorrow to demand their release.
Also, email the Japanese embassy: email@example.com immediately
It would be good to copy the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in to whatever you send to the Embassy.
I had some trouble getting hold of an email address, but you could try the following one - Meg Munn is the Minister "responsible" for Asia and the Pacific. firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com 020 7008 1500
Suggestion of what to write:
Dear Japanese Ambassador,
I am writing to you to protest in the strongest possible terms the taking of two hostages on board a Japanese Whaling Ship this morning. Press reports (see links below) have suggested that the two men, (one of whom is a UK National by the name of Giles Lane), who peacefully boarded the Yushin Maru No. 2 to deliver a letter, were assaulted and
then tied up. Photographs from their own vessel, the Sea Shepherd, show the two men
being tied up outside. The incident happened several hours ago and I am greatly
concerned for their safety. I demand that you intervene at once to ensure that these
men are released, protected from the elements, and returned safely to their vessel
as soon as possible. I also hope that your government will ensure that the captain
and crew of the Yushin Maru No. 2 be prosecuted for their actions.