What the crew of the 115-foot stabilized monohull Brigitte Bardot described as a rogue wave damaged the anti-whaling boat in the Southern Ocean, punching a hole in its hull.
The Brigitte Bardot, part of the Sea Shepherd conservation group’s fleet, was chasing the Japanese whaling fleet about 1,500 miles southwest of Fremantle, Australia.
The Sea Shepherd flagship, the Steve Irwin, is on its way to help the damaged boat.
It could take about 20 hours to get there, said Sea Shepherd founder Capt. Paul Watson.
"Right now the safety of my crew on the Brigitte Bardot is our priority and we intend to reach the crew and then do what we can to save our ship," he said.
The ship was chasing the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru in 20-foot seas when a swell slammed into its port side.