What are these cowboys doing in our waters?

The SV Vega is squeezed between the Noble Bob Douglas and her support vessel, the Bailey TIde.

Despite all the rhetoric about safety being bandied about, these operators are clearly into playing risky games.

We have just watched the support vessel Bailey Tide create a dangerous situation. At around 1810 hours,without any warning, the Bailey Tide began to move sideways squeezing Vega towards the side of Noble Bob Douglas, moving in very close. At about 1820, Bailey Tide used her thrusters to create a wash that swung the Vega sideways causing her bow to get close to the Bailey Tide. Fortunately the helmsman of Vega was able to use full engine power and rudder to get safely away from the situation.

We are all well aware that Vega is within the “exclusion zone”, bearing witness, and representing the views of thousands of New Zealanders who are opposed to deep sea oil drilling in our waters. Anadarko’s Captains are well aware of this too, yet, they refused to acknowledge repeated calls from Vega or clarify their intentions. There is no excuse for this cavalier attitude towards safety and peoples lives.

For me as a professional mariner it was very upsetting to witness this sort of behavior by other so called professional mariners on the Anadarko vessels, they seem to have a total disregard for safety at sea and the rules of the road at sea, not a good sign for the upcoming inherently dangerous exploratory deep sea oil drilling operations.

We have to ask, who invited this Liberian flagged vessel, under the command of Texan cowboys, into New Zealand waters? Why are they allowed to operate when the EPA has neither seen nor approved their oil spill response plan?

What are these cowboys doing in our waters?

Daniel Mares, Mate SV Tiama

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