In another controversial incident at the opening of seal hunting season, an animal rights group is claiming a Canadian Coast Guard vessel slammed into its boat to keep those on board from taking video footage of the controversial hunt.
“They got closer and closer and closer to us and we obviously tried to keep a safe distance,” said Alex Cornelissen, captain of the Sea Shepherd Society’s boat Farley Mowat.
“They slammed into us sideways, which was a pretty heavy bump.”
After the first hit last Sunday, the Coast Guard ship Des Griseilliers swung its bow around and hit the Farley Mowat a second time, Cornelissen said.
Minister Loyola Hearn of the Fisheries and Oceans Department said in a news release that these allegations are false and that it was the Farley Mowat that manoeuvered itself into the path of the Coast Guard ship, trying to cause a collision and provoke confrontation.
“The organization is known to use this tactic to generate photo opportunities,” states the release.
Cornelissen said it’s not surprising the department is blaming the incident on his organization.
This latest incident has come to light as the RCMP, the Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard launched probes yesterday into the deaths of three fishermen. The boat the men were on capsized while being towed by a Coast Guard icebreaker. A fourth man is unaccounted for and presumed dead.
—files from metro news services

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