From the High Seas into Coastal Waters

Tuesday, 29 Mar, 2016

Day 17 of the chase of the illegal fishing vessel Fu Yuan Yu 076 begins with the sun rising over the green, shallow banks of the South China Sea to the East, and the rugged mountainous coast of mainland China to the West. The Steve Irwin darts in and around coastal fishing vessels as the Fu Yuan Yu 076 flees north at top speed in another attempt to lose her tailing vessel. 

The Fu Yuan Yu 076 pulls into Xincun Harbour. Photo by Sea Shepherd.

Last night the Fu Yuan Yu 076 made its most audacious attempt to shake the tailing Steve Irwin. At dusk, the Fu Yuan Yu 076 went into the port waters of Xincun Harbour, the southernmost port of China. As it got darker, the ship switched off all its lights causing the Steve Irwin to lose visual contact amidst the back-scatter from the city's lights. The ship then made some very strange maneuvers in and around vessels at anchor, seemingly attempting to cause confusion on the radar as well. Following that, it turned around and sped out of the port amidst a rocky coastline and blindingly-lit stern trawlers in a further attempt to confuse and escape the tailing Sea Shepherd vessel.

Steve Irwin crew members Damien and Nick keep a close eye on the Fu Yuan Yu 076's movements. Photo by Sea Shepherd.

However, the Steve Irwin has a very accomplished set of watch-keepers who are honed in the skills of tailing and pursuing fleeing vessels. The plan has failed. The Steve Irwin remained on the stern of the Fu Yuan Yu 076 with only one goal in mind: to see the illegal vessel delivered to the doors of justice in the port of Fu Zhou.

The Fu Yuan Yu 076 flees to open water, under the spotlight of the pursuing Steve Irwin. Photo by Sea Shepherd.
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