Posted on February 05, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The MV Farley Mowat was attacked by a group of over 50 assailants posing as fishermen.
The incident took place in the upper Gulf of California, near the Vaquita Refuge, where a group of assailants aboard 20 high-speed craft, attacked the patrol vessel belonging to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS).
SSCS operates within the UNESCO recognized, federally protected area of the Vaquita Marine Refuge.
The Farley Mowat, an island-class patrol vessel belonging to the SSCS fleet, was conducting a routine maritime conservation patrol of the area, in an effort to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise from extinction, when the attack took place.
The assailants, posing as fishermen, threw a range of projectiles, including lead weights, large stones and Molotov cocktails.
During the attack, the vessel’s windows were shattered, and one side of the Farley Mowat caught on fire.
Two Navy Defender inflatable boats that arrived at the scene were also attacked by the poachers.
The Farley Mowat crewmembers managed to fend off the attackers using emergency fire hoses while the Captain attempted to carry out anti-piracy manoeuvres in an effort to protect the vessel.
In the meantime, the Mexican Navy and Federal Police stationed aboard the vessel opened fire into the air and sea in order to deter the attackers.
Responding to a radio call by the Mexican naval frigate Barrera that was nearby, the Farley Mowat set course towards the navy vessel.
Despite the violence of these assaults, there were no reported injuries from the attack.
This is the 2nd attack to take place by so-called fishermen in the upper Gulf of California area.
Another attack took place in the region on the 9th of January.