17 Apr 2008

Farley Mowat Pays Pirates Ransom to Free Sea Shepherd Captain and Mate

Captain Alex Cornelissen and 1st Officer Peter Hammarstedt were freed from solitary confinement in Sydney, Nova Scotia in the late afternoon of April 14th, after Captain Paul Watson delivered $10,000 in doubloons to the Nova Scotia courts.

“We do not view the arrests as lawful,” said Captain Watson. “These men were seized from their Dutch flagged ship on the high seas in international waters by armed men who then commandeered the ship and the personal property of the crew. This was an act of piracy and we do not recognize this as bail. It’s a ransom that we have been forced to pay and since it’s a ransom being paid to pirates, it’s appropriate that it has been paid in doubloons.”

The Canadian dollar coin is called a “loonie” and although the two dollar coin is called a “toonie,” it really is a double loon and thus a doubloon.

Upon his release from detention, Captain Alex Cornelissen responded to reporters who said that Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn claims the Farley Mowat was in Canadian waters at the time it was boarded.

“Hearn is an absolute liar. We were 35 miles from land when we were attacked and not once did we ever come close to the 12 mile limit. My ship was taken by armed pirates under the direction of the Federal Minister of Fisheries. I suppose he needed to do something dramatic to distract from the fact that he was responsible for the deaths of four sealers last month,” Cornelissen said.  

The GPS unit on the Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat has a record of the movements of the ship and is evidence that the ship never entered Canadian territorial waters.

Sea Shepherd - Farley Mowat Pays Pirates Ransom to Free Sea Shepherd Captain and Mate