Activists: Japanese whaling boat collides with 2 anti-whaling ships, tanker

The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - An activist group says a Japanese whaling boat has collided with two anti-whaling ships and a refuelling boat near Antarctica.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson of Canada says he was aboard the ship Steve Irwin today when the Japanese boat Nisshin Maru collided with it and with the Bob Barker.

Watson says the Nisshin Maru was trying to pull alongside a refuelling tanker and the anti-whaling boats were trying to prevent it. He says the Nisshin Maru also collided with the tanker.

Glenn Inwood, a spokesman for Japan's Tokyo-based whaling organization, said he was seeking more information.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Jo Meehan said it was aware of the reports but wasn't involved in any search-and-rescue operations.

Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whaling fleet have had past clashes.