Police investigate whaling collision

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Forensic investigators from Australian Federal Police (AFP) are examining an anti-whaling vessel moored in Melbourne after it collided with a Japanese ship in Antarctic waters.

Last week, the Robert Hunter collided with whale-spotting ship Kaiko Maru as it attempted to scupper Japan’s operations in the Ross Sea.

Both sides later accused each other of ramming their vessel and the AFP is now trying to establish the precise course of events.

AFP officers have spent the morning poring over the protest ship and examining damage to the hull of the Robert Hunter, the former Scottish fisheries patrol vessel now owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS).

“They’re assessing the damage to our hull to try to determine exactly who rammed who,” SSCS president and skipper Paul Watson said today.

“Our position simply is that if we had rammed the Kaiko Maru, then we would admit to ramming the damn thing. We have no problem with that.

“On this occasion, though, it was the Japanese ship that deliberately targeted us.

“What bothers me is that the Australian authorities are going after us because Japan has lodged a formal complaint