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NZ Officials Talk To Peter Bethune

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Murray McCully
Murray McCully

New Zealand officials have spoken to anti-whaling protester Peter Bethune, who says he is being well looked after on board the Japanese vessel the Shonan Maru II, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said today.

Mr Bethune, the New Zealand captain of the Ady Gil, which sank following a collision with the Shonan Maru II in the Southern Ocean on 6 January, has been on the Shonan Maru II since climbing aboard on the morning of 15 February.

"A consular officer from the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo spoke with Peter Bethune aboard the Shonan Maru II by telephone on Thursday evening after a call was arranged through the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Mr McCully said.

"Mr Bethune reported he was in good physical and mental condition.

"He said he is being accommodated in his own cabin and has freedom of movement, and that he has regular meals and is being cared for well by the crew.

"Mr Bethune's family has been briefed on the call by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials in Wellington.

"For privacy reasons we cannot reveal further details of the conversation, but Mr Bethune indicated he was happy to remain on board the Shonan Maru II and return to Japan with the vessel," Mr McCully said.

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