Chasing the Thunder (2018) - full transcript

A thrilling high seas adventure feature documentary where two marine conservation captains from Sea Shepherd go on a hundred day chase of the illegal poacher and pirate fishing vessel, the Thunder. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
[Paul Watson]
The ocean produces oxygen.

The ocean regulates temperature,

climate control.

The ocean provides food.

All of these things that are
essential for our survival.

[Sid Chakravarty] Take a
breath. Now take another breath.

And that second breath
comes from the oceans

and that's how
people's lives are impacted.

You have to have an interest
in their survival.

[Paul] What we're seeing
in the ocean

is a steady decline
of biodiversity in the sea.

The destruction of the fishes.

[Alistair McDonnell] There
are studies which estimate

the global illegal catch of fish

is between 12 and 23 billion.

So there is definitely

an organized
crime business model.

They are forging
government documents,

making false
customs declarations

that engaged
in corruption of officials.

What we're looking at
is murder of the ocean

and if the ocean dies, we die.

[Adam Meyerson] I just don't see
how we can go straight through that.

- How we're just going to take a pounding.
- Simple misery.

[Adam] It's an area of the world

that there's very little
break in the ocean.

The low-pressure systems
just travel

one after the other
after the other.

It's a notoriously
rough part of the world.

[Peter Hammarstedt]
For the past ten years,

Sea Shepherd has been defending

whales in the Southern Ocean.

This year, we're defending

Patagonian and Antarctic

The fact that these fish
live in the most remote waters

in the world
makes these poachers

feel like they can get away
with anything.

Working with Sea Shepherd,

I've had to make
a lot of sacrifices.

The biggest thing I miss
is my family.

It's been 12 years
since I've spent

the holidays with them,

but this is where I have to be.

Cooking when the ship
is rolling is pretty wild.

It is definitely

quite a bit harder than normal.

[man] This is my
first Antarctic campaign.

I was the skipper

of a game fishing charter boat.

I got sick of killing fish
for tourists,

so I came and joined
Sea Shepherd.

[Krystal] I avoid
the cold like the plague

so what am I doing
going to Antarctica?

trying to save the ocean.

- Morning, everyone.
- [all] Morning.

Welcome to the shadowlands.

We are now in the most remote
fishing grounds in the world.

We're defending

and Antarctic toothfish.

These are vulnerable
fish populations

that are being targeted
by six illegal operators.

These aren't poachers
backed by governments

like with the
Japanese whaling fleet,

these are criminal operations
that earn millions.

It's possible
that they're armed,

and I have no doubt
that they'll be willing

to use violence
to stop us from intervening.

The Thunder and the Viking
are two vessels

that Interpol
put out Purple Alerts for.

Our mission is to find
these bandits,

shut down their illegal
fishing activities,

confiscate and destroy
any illegal fishing gear

that we find
and to measure our success

by the number of criminal
operations that we shut down.

Okay? Thank you.
Let's bag a poacher.

[radar blipping]

There's been quite nasty weather

to the north of us
for about a week now.

The area we're in now
has had good weather.

This is a place
where the poachers

have been found before

so it's very likely that
they've set up camp here.

It looks like something's
on the radar.

Yeah, Jeremy,
I've got a radar target

about nine miles. It
looks like about 11 o'clock.

See if you can see
anything over that way.

[Adam] Roger that.

[radar blipping]

[radar beeps]

Oh, look at that.

- That's a ship.
- [Adam] Yeah.

All right,
they just slowed down.

It's turning around
the other direction.

- It looks like they're just running, huh?
- [Peter] Yeah.

- [Adam] All right.
- [Peter] We've got ourselves a fishing boat.

- [Adam] Looking good, huh?
- [Peter] It's looking very, very good.

Definitely a fishing boat.

[Peter] Stand by. Once we've got a visual
ID on it, we'll go to action stations.

[McDonnell] Thunder is
one of the group of vessels

who've been involved
in unregulated fishing

in the Southern Ocean
for some time.

Six boats, two trips a year,
$5 million a trip.

It's been at it ten years.
We can do the math.

This has been
an iconic crime gang.

To them, fish is basically money

swimming around in the sea.

Interpol is a
law enforcement organization,

and whilst we
support sustainability

and good management,

law is the keyword.

There are still significant gaps

in enforcement.

We cannot chase
around the oceans

after every single
pirate vessel out there.

It's a huge amount of effort.

There's a lot of crime out there

because nobody was looking.

Now we are looking.

Fishing vessel Young Being,
I order you to leave

these waters immediately.

These boats are fishing

where there is no surveillance.

This is how the criminals
get away with it.

So we're encouraging
the NGOs at sea

to use whatever they can
to go after illegal fishing.

[shutter clicking]

That really looks
like the Thunder.

Yeah, that's the Thunder.
We got the Thunder.


The Thunder is the kingpin

of the toothfish poachers.

This is a vessel
that has evaded justice

for ten years.

Well, we definitely interrupted
them as they were fishing.


Get Sid on the phone.

[Sid] There's
a bit of nervousness

when we set out
on these campaigns.

There's something really
unique about Antarctica.

Knowing illegal vessels

are operating
in this pristine place

on this planet...

Sam Simon, this is Sid.

Hey, Sid. So I have
in front of me the Thunder.

- You do?
- Yep, we've got

a visualize ID on the vessel.

They're leaving
their fishing gear behind.

They're now running

so now we're just gonna get in
behind them,

then we're gonna radio them

and place them under arrest.

All right, that's great,
Peter. I'm gonna try

and cover this ground
to get to that fishing gear.

Okay. Thanks, Sid.

So, he's got the Thunder.


We'll get a distance
on how far we have to go,

but I guess that'll be
our first mission,

to haul in that gear.
That's cool.

[Peter] Thunder,
this is Bob Barker.

Bob Barker.
You are fishing illegally.

That's very lucky

because we speak Spanish
as well.

Say. "Thunder,
you are fishing illegally.

Do you have
a fishing license number?"

[speaking Spanish]

Tell them that there is an
Interpol Purple Notice for them.

We're a conservation
law enforcement.

We're placing them under arrest

and they're to come with us
to Fremantle, Australia.

[speaking Spanish]

[Peter] Sea Shepherd
has a global reputation

of shutting down poaching

and it's a reputation
that's known best

by the poachers that we target.

When Sea Shepherd shows up,

poachers don't continue
fishing illegally,

they flee.

[man speaking]

[Adam] We might be heading
into some pack ice.

They may try and see
if they can go through the ice

faster than we can.

[Peter] It's clear that
the Thunder

wants to try to lose us in ice.

It wants us to intimidate us

and force us to break away
from pursuit.

I could just see us both
getting stuck pretty easily.

[Adam] The one danger
you always do worry about

in the ice is getting beset.

The pack ice closes in
behind the vessel

pretty rapidly.

You certainly can't back up
because your propeller and rudder,

the most vulnerable parts
of the ship, are on the stern.

It's hard to steer
at this speed.

We just have to keep
bouncing off these

like a pinball machine.

[Adam] You can hear
the ice grinding

down the side of the ship.

[metal grinding]

It's just a sound that gets
right into your stomach.

This ice may look
pretty harmless,

it's actually
as solid as a rock.

[man on comms]

Yeah, that's not gonna happen.
We gotta push through this.

Ships have hit ice here.

Ships have disappeared here
with all their crew,

and we're a long way
from rescue.

[Peter] I'll leave you
the bridge then.

Thank you.

[Paola] Good night.

They're slowing down again?

Yeah, they're down to 6.9.

[Paola] I'll go 60.


[Paola] Go on.

Portside, you didn't hit it.

[Stefan] I'm going on course.

[man speaking]

[Paola] You lost the steering?

And autopilot doesn't respond?

[Paola speaking]

[beeping continues]

[engine stops]

It's on two, huh?
It's not on one.

[Stefan speaking]

[Sid] So it's Christmas morning.

I miss my family.

But all of us agree
that being here is important.

Nine days ago.

Over the last ten years,
the Thunder's owners

have made over $60 million
in illegal profits.

They've been operating
with impunity

outside the full reach
of the law.

Confiscating that gear
can build a strong case

to help prosecute the Thunder
and shut it down.

Who is it? Who is it?

- [man] Oh, yes!
- [man 2] Yeah, that's nice!

[Sid] These illegal vessels use
a very destructive form of fishing

called gillnets,
which run for kilometers

and sit at the bottom
of the ocean.

Toothfish are the controllers
of the marine ecosystem.

Their survival is
very important to Antarctica.

Not only are they catching
the toothfish,

they're also catching

We need to pull in
this fishing gear.

We've been viewing
across a boat due west.

[man] Should have it.

All right. Let's pull it in.

[Sid] This line
has been in the water

longer than it should be.

So it's weighed down
by a lot of life

that's coming up
from 1,500 to 2,000 meters.

It's just putting
a lot of strain on the line.

- Whoa. Whoa!
- [man] Whoa!

Some more turns will be needed.

Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.

There it goes. Gone.


[Sid speaking]

So that's all clear water,
is it?

[Adam] Yeah, I think if you just
go right through this, you're out.

They're picking up speed,
are they?

We need a bit more speed here,
end to end.

- [man] Copy that.
- We need to go out to starboard right there.

[Peter] By this point, they're
basically running for home.

- What speed are they doing now, Adam?
- 7.7.

[woman] You're just clearing
this last bit now.

[man speaking on comms]


And we'll just come up
on them at 8 knots.

[speaking Spanish]

He's not the owner of the ship.

It doesn't depend on him.

He's just obeying orders

and the same way we're obeying
orders from Paul Watson.

You have absolute authority.

I don't micromanage
our captains at sea.

So the decision is yours,
whatever you wish to take.

Well, we certainly found them
in record time,

and it really shows you
just how easy it is

to track them and find them.
Australia could've done it,

New Zealand could've done it,
yet they don't do it.

They're simply not upholding
the law.

If they were doing their job,
we wouldn't have to do it.

You know,
he's really not in command.

You know, he takes orders
from a criminal,

it's a criminal operation,

so you certainly have much
more authority than he does

and you're in the right,
he's in the wrong.

It's as simple as that.

Do you think
they're gonna turn west?

[Adam] I think they already
have a couple degrees.

[Peter] The seas are
picking up to almost 8 meters.

Wind's blowing at 40 knots.

It's not
a comfortable place to be,

but it's the place that the
Thunder decided to take us.

Oh, this is a big one.

[loud thud]

They could do damage
to our small boats.

- Let's suit up with Alistair.
- Okay.

Bridge, go ahead.

[Peter] Okay, as soon
as you get to the fore,

facing a bit of
our superstructure,

so you need to clip in
right away.

In this weather,
it's very dangerous

to go out on deck.

Certainly, the biggest risk
to any crew member

would be going overboard,
in which case, it would be

very, very difficult
to recover them.

Alistair, get Shamus
to harness in, please.

There's a big one, hold on.

[man] That is cold.

[man 2] One, two, three.

Push in.

Yep. You're happy
with everything secure?

Okay, get back inside.

Excellent job. Thank you.

This poacher's been trying
to do everything to lose us.

They've taken us
through ice conditions,

they took us
to some of the worst weather

that the Southern Ocean can throw
at us, and we just kept on their tail.

I don't know what the
Thunder's going to do now,

but we'll continue fighting on
for as long as it takes

until these guys
are finally in cuffs.

Remember the damage
that these nets cause.

These lead lines
go down about 2 kilometers

because Patagonian
and Antarctic toothfish

are very, very deep down
in the water.

These curtains of death
are notorious

for just killing species

until they get pulled out
of the water.

And it's because we're
with the Thunder,

they're not able to pull
their gillnets out.

The question
that I've been getting

from law enforcements on land

is what kind of evidence
do we have

that the Thunder was fishing.

Yes, we saw them 5 miles
away from fishing buoys.

Yes, we saw them
ready to deploy gear.

Yes, we saw gear on deck.

But being able to provide
this physical evidence

helps close the case.

The Sam Simon has been outfitted

with equipment that is made
to pull up these nets.

[Sid] The line heading down
to the nets has snapped.

[man] It's all gone. [bleep]

I guess just too much tension.

Fortunately, gillnets are set
with two sets of buoys.

I'm hoping that we can find
the set of buoys

at the other end.

These nets run up
to 130 kilometers long.

Just to put them into reference,

the Sam Simon sails about
130 kilometers in one day.

We'll go around this iceberg, and then
head to where they spotted the Thunder.

And then we'll head due west.

We're looking for a needle
in a haystack.

We have to all think
of ourselves

as being one of the only
30 people on this planet

who have the responsibility
to go out there

and pull that bloody net
out of that water.

That little thing there.

I can see something right ahead.

Is it an iceberg?

[Krystal] It's gonna be
the buoys from the Thunder.

-Bridge, raise the deck. We've have the buoys.
-[Sid] We got them!

Yeah, I see it. Right there.

String of buoys bang ahead. Yes!


- Unbelievable!
- [Sid] Oh, my God.

Oh. So good.

Hey, Peter, Sid here. Just
calling you with some good news.

We're started our search pattern

and have come across
another set of buoys.

- Well done.
- You reckon

this is the other end of the set

that had the line snap
a couple of hours ago?

The boat's about to go in

and we'll be able to begin
operations right away.

Okay, that sounds like a plan.

[tense music playing]

This is kind of our last shot.

I'm gonna jump up

and make sure everything's
ready so you can pass me that gear.

Two and a half years ago,

I decided to stop
signing petitions

and liking things on Facebook

and actually take
a more direct action approach.

I'm not afraid
of what's gonna confront me.

I just think
that if I can't do this,

then there's no point
in doing anything,

so bring it on.

[Sid] So the plan is for us
to pick up those buoys,

connect it
to the stern of the ship,

get the buoys on board

and then keep hauling
the gear in.

We've got sub-zero
temperatures in the water.

It's very, very cold
with the wind

and the existing swell,

it's pretty
dangerous conditions.


[man speaking]

[Krystal speaking]

Echo, this is Bridge. Over.

Hey, Krystal. As soon
as we've got the buoy,

you can climb out.

Really sorry, but just hold on.

[Sid] Everybody knows that,
when they join a Sea Shepherd ship,

and they go on a campaign,

they're putting
their lives on the line.

Duty always triumphs.

[Krystal speaking]

Oh, yeah.

And then later
we'll retrieve the boat.

[tense music playing]

[Krystal moaning]

Can't feel anything.


Oh, there's a big fish.

[Sid] Toothfish
is sold in restaurants

as Chilean seabass.

It's mainly a fish that ends up

in fancy dinner plates,
top-end restaurants,

and 5-five star hotels
across the world.

So it's not a fish
that you would use

to feed the hungry children
in Africa.

Their survival is very important

to control the deep depths
of Antarctica.

And when there's illegal vessels

that take apex predators,
they're actually causing

a collapse of the food chain

and from a marine ecosystem
that we don't understand.

That's the problem
with toothfish

that we haven't understood
them, but we're ready to eat them.

Bye, fish.

- Was he alive?
- Yeah!


God, that's so good.

Oh, my God.
That's such a good feeling.

[calm music playing]

[Sid] I remember seeing
my first iceberg

and being in complete awe

and feeling
like I had left behind

the planet that I was used to.

Antarctica is probably
the richest ocean

that we've got left.

Gillnetting has no place
in Antarctica

and that gear needs to be put

on the back deck
of the Sam Simon.

All right,
let's keep pulling it.

[Sid] 12 days of
back-breaking work,

we've hauled in close to
50 kilometers of net on board,

but our job
is far from being over.

We're just continuing
to find more and more nets

the Thunder had laid out.

We're not even close
to being finished.

And the number of dead
animals we've pulled out

is astounding, you know?

[man] It feels like it's
an airplane crash.

There's just body
after another after another.

This is definitely
the worst thing

that I've ever done in my life.

It's difficult physical work.

I think everyone's bodies
are tired and aching.

And we're not getting
enough sleep

and hauling in

so much dead marine life,
and it's awful.

But this is what we're here for

and this is what we have to do.

And the alternative
is to give up,

which none of us
are prepared to do.

[phone ringing]

[Peter] Hey, Sid.

What's going on?

We've got 448, I think,
toothfish. That's the total count.

They're all dead.

Yeah, it's been in the water
much longer, I guess.

So, it's good evidence
of the effects of a ghost net.

[Sid] This net
has been down in the ocean

for about nine days.

It's basically killing

Well, well done to you
and the crew, Sid.

And if the Thunder
decides to resume

their illegal fishing,

then we're going to stop them.

Yeah, absolutely.

Let's keep watching
at the back and slowly.


They've got
their fishing lights on.

Yeah, that stern...

[trails off indistinctly]


Oh, I see it.

[Peter] What is the point
of having laws

if laws aren't going to be

More than half
of the world's population

depend on the oceans
for their survival.

Illegal fishing
completely jeopardizes

any chance of there being
sustainable fishing.

When government
lacks either political will,

economic means
or the jurisdiction

to enforce those laws,

then it fall
upon private organizations

like Sea Shepherd
to fill that role.

Thunder, this is Bob Barker.
You are fishing illegally.

Shut down your illegal
fishing activities immediately

or we will have to intervene.

Well, there's nothing
we can do really

while it's this dark.
So we monitor it,

we start prepping for
first light.

[Adam] Okay.

[Peter] Morning, everyone.

You all know what happened
last night, of course.

So, the Thunder fished.

To block them from fishing
should be quite simple

because the first thing
they have to put out

is this 2-kilometer-long
lead line

with a buoy at the end.

So out of the back
will come this buoy

and then, following that,
will be the net.

The net then drops down

as they put out buoy after buoy.

We're going to have
several grappling hooks

set on the bow of our ship.

From the bow, we'll throw
some grappling hooks down,

we'll pull it up,
we'll cut the buoys off,

and without the buoy,
they can't set the net.

They have a limited number
of buoys on board,

so all we have to do
is keep cutting that end buoy.

Sooner or later, they're going
to have to give up.

Do you see the buoy anywhere?

[Paola] No, not yet.

There's no crew coming out
all geared up.

Oh, the buoys are over there.

They've got the buoys
there, Peter.

We gotta get ahead of them.

Go and get some life jackets
on and get on the bow

with the people you
need to do it. Grab a radio.

[man] Yeah, I've got a radio.

[Peter] If they do try to fish,

then they've got to go
through us to do it.

- Where are they at now?
- Dead ahead.

- Dead ahead?
- Dead ahead.

[Paola] Dead ahead, yeah.

[captain of Thunder speaking
on radio]

- We stopped?
- [Adam] Yeah, we're stopped.

[man] They're getting
ready for the buoys.

[Paola] They're getting ready.

- [Peter] This is it.
- [Adam] Got it.

Got it. Pull it up. Come on.

Tell them to hurry up 'cause
the Thunder is coming at us.

[man] Peter says hurry up,

the Thunder's coming back
towards us. Over.

[Thunder captain] Bob
Barker. Bob Barker. Thunder.

Thunder. Bob Barker.

[speaking Spanish]

- They're going to come in pretty aggressively now.
- Yeah.

Tell people to come in from deck

and to go to the muster station.

Pull it up, come on.

Tell them to tell us
as soon as it's up

and cut free from the ship.

Buoy, can you please tell us as
soon as we're free from the line? Over.


[Peter] They probably feel
backed into a corner

and that makes them

and potentially quite dangerous.

Speed up a little bit,
please, Adam.

[horn blowing]

They're making a hard turn, eh?

[speaking Spanish]

Give it a kick of stern.

[horn blowing]

Stand by for possible impact.

[Peter] That's gonna be close.

[horn blowing]


- [Adam] Nice, Peter.
- [Peter] That must've been a meter.

- [laughing] - [man] I could
have jumped that. Yeah.

- What are we at?
- [Adam] 10 ahead.

[Peter] Let's give it 20 ahead.

20 ahead?

Let's let them calm down a bit.

It's that Spanish temperament.

8.9 knots they're doing now?

[Adam] Yeah.

[Adam] They think somehow
that they're gonna shake us

and be able to get away with
continuing to pillage the oceans.

That's just not gonna happen.

[Peter] The plan went exactly
the way we'd hoped it'd go.

The deck crew
has done a great job

of pulling the buoys up.
They did it really quickly.

It was a huge victory for us

and it's really annoyed
the Thunder,

and, hopefully, ended
their fishing operation.

- [Peter] Was it heavy?
- [Alistair] No, no.

I mean, a little bit,
but nothing unmanageable.

- We'll see what happens next.
- [Alistair] We'll see what happens.

[man] This might deter them
from putting out anything anymore.

[Peter] Mmm.

My hope is
that that fishing gear

will be able to further
link the Thunder

to the gillnets
that the Sam Simon crew

is pulling up.

[waves crashing]

[calm music playing]

[Sid] When I came out
on watch this morning,

I wasn't feeling excited
about it at all.

Here we go again. [bleep] hell.

But with the Sam Simon
actually locating the gear

and confiscating that gear,

we actually now
we can build a strong case

to help prosecute
the Thunder and shut it down.

We've got toothfish last, 23.

- [man 2] We have nine.
- Toothfish last, we've got 22.

[Sid] It's a massive challenge,
going down to Antarctica,

this remote edge of the
planet with a volunteer crew.

A lot of them are young
people for the first time at sea.

Not everyone knows what
they're going to go up against,

but they've come here
with the purpose

to defend and fight
for the oceans.

We've extracted
close to 700 toothfish.

That adds up to 21 tons,

which is roughly $210,000
at retail price.

And the gear's worth
another $120,000.

That's spectacular.

[Sid] We're risking our crew
every time they're working

on these high-tension lines.

That's it.

You're trying to get the trap?

'Cause it's not going
to come up.

There's too much tension again.

[indistinct chatter]

[Sid] That'll be
the end of the hauling.

Yeah, that's it.

It's good to call it
quits while we're ahead.

We've got 70 kilometers of line

and I think that is enough
evidence to prosecute.

Well, you guys
must've heard this morning

that we were hauling
and then the roller bent.

And I made the decision
that we're moving on.

What we do have
to look forward to

is that we're heading straight
for the Bob Barker.

- [Krystal] Are we?
- [Sid] Yes.

So weather giving us
a good passage,

we should be there
in six to seven days.

We can meet up with our friends

on the Bob who have been
in an epic 52-day pursuit

of the Thunder.

We'll confront the Thunder
with the Bob Barker

in an aim to break the back
of the moral of the Thunder.

Let them see
all the 72 kilometers of line

that we have on deck.

[Peter] We're almost
at the 2-month mark.

It is our 58th day
of pursuit of the Thunder.

As long as we can remain
with them,

the only option for the Thunder

is to be escorted
into port by the Bob Barker.

This is very much
a psychological game

we're playing with them.

We want to demoralize them

and crush their fighting spirit.

[Sid on radio] Bob Barker.
Bob Barker. Sam Simon.

Sam Simon. Bob Barker.

Hey, Peter.
Lovely to see all of you.

Is it nice to finally see
the Thunder?

It is pretty special
to see them.

We've got
a lot of the Thunder's gear

- and we're going in close to show them.
- Okay. That sounds good.

[Sid] The biggest part
of the Sam Simon

in this whole investigation
is linking the gear

that we have on board
with the Thunder.

Whenever she returns to port,
law enforcement

can match this with evidence
on the Thunder

and then the Thunder
can't refuse

any of this gear as being hers.

Yeah, all taking photos
on the starboard end port.

[Thunder captain speaking]

Go get them, Sid!

Thunder. Thunder.

This is Sam Simon
on channel 16. Go ahead.

[speaking Spanish]

Tell them that all the gear
that they see on our ship

is their illegal fishing gear
from Antarctica,

and that we are on our way
to hand that over

to law enforcement.

[speaking Spanish]

[speaking Spanish]

[Sid] Tell him that is for the
law enforcement to decide.

And we'll be on 16
if they need to call us again.

[speaking Spanish]

[Peter] That's pretty close.

- [Simon] Yeah. Jeez.
- [Peter] That's a good photo.

That's a great shot.

Their crew could provide
invaluable evidence.

They may have no idea

that the ship
is fishing illegally.

We want to establish a means
of communication with them.

Very often, nobody knows
where their food comes from

and, as being interested
in the oceans,

we always think
about the fishing method.

But there's also
all these people

who work on the fishing vessels.

We know from the hauling
on the Sam

how difficult it is.

So can you imagine
working 16-20 hours

during the fishing season?

They often work
between $100 and $150 a month.

We have nothing
against the people themselves,

but the owners, the operators
and the captain of the Thunder

who are continuing to commit
illegal fishing operations.

So, our attempt
is to send them a message

about who we are.

"You've done nothing wrong.

The captain and the owner
must be brought to court

to answer
for their illegal fishing.

Any information about
the names of the officers

and the owner of the ship
will greatly help us.

Sincerely, me,
Captain Bob Barker."

The Bob's going to stay
with them for a while

so this back-and-forth messaging
can go on, and, hopefully,

we'll get some messages back.

[tense music playing]

[woman on comms] Echo
to Bridge. Echo is away.

[Sid] If you care for the oceans

and you care for the fish,

then you have to care for
the people who are involved.

And we stand in spirit
with the rights

that should be given
to the crew.

Echo, this is Bridge.

We will get
closer to the Thunder,

and we will sound our horn
to shake them and wake them.

[horn blowing]

Sam's coming in closer now.

Echo, this is Bridge.

There is people standing
in the door on the aft deck.

So try and throw one bottle.

[man] Oh, yeah.

Yeah, they seem to be coming.

Bob. Bob. Sam.

Sam. Bob.

Hey, just letting you know
that we did see

- some activity after the fog horn.
- Okay.

The more you can throw over,
the better.

Yeah, will do.

One more bottle.

Echo, Bridge.
Somebody is collecting

the second bottle you threw.

[Sid] They are reading it.

They're making
some hand signals.

Who's got the bottle?
Is it still in the boat?

Ooh, big message.

[woman speaking]

We'll try and get it translated.

We've just managed
to get the translation.

They are worried.

They were not aware
that the Thunder

was fishing illegally.

We want to try
and do a second message

to seek information

on the status
of the crew themselves,

and if they had any messages
that they'd like to pass on,

we'd be happy to be a conduit

to their families and friends.

The Sam Simon is launching
a small boat at 0900 hours.

We have a new letter
to the Indonesian crew.

We have a guy up
on the bridge there.

We've never gone up against
an adversary like this before.

It's the unpredictability of them
that makes them dangerous.

Echo, this is Bridge. Just stand
by and see what happens. Over.


The guy-- Uh, the guy with
the balaclava has gone in.

- This is the time to do it.
- [Wyanda] Echo, this is Sam Simon.

The guy just went inside. You
can return to the ship. Over.

[man] All right.

[Sid] Peter. Peter. Sid.

Sid. Peter.

We just spotted
one of the officers,

possibly, throwing
two of the bottles

back into the water.

So I'm trying to just throw
about ten more sets.

Hopefully one of them stays.

Okay, we'll just stay
on-station here then

on the starboard quarter.

[man] Oh,
balaclava's coming out.

[Wyanda] He's out.
He's out. He's out.

Balaclava man's coming out.

He's got the chain or something
in his hand, it looks like.

Echo. Echo. Sam Simon. Read?

Oh, what's that?


[Wyanda] Echo, this is Bridge.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[Wyanda] Echo. Stand by.

[man] Copy that.

[Sid] We know these vessels
have catch worth millions of dollars.

We were told by other fishermen
that if we went up against them,

there was a high likelihood
that we'd be shot.

Hey, Echo. We'll call it off.

We don't want these guys
to get too angry.

So turn away and come back.

[Peter] What happened?

- You okay?
- [man] Yeah.

[Peter] I've sailed with
Simon for many, many years.

He's one of my crew members

who most likes to be
on the front lines.

What's he throwing?

He's threw a bolt at your nuts?

You're okay?

The Thunder has tried to ram us.

They've thrown bolts
and chains at us.

They're beginning to crack

and they're going
to make a mistake.

Atlas Cove. Atlas Cove.
Bob Barker.

Calling you seven, seven.

[man on radio] Bob Barker,
this is Atlas Cove.


[horn blowing]

It's really impressive,
isn't it?

[Peter] The Atlas Cove
is a toothfish long-liner

that conducts
legal toothfish operations

down in the Southern Ocean.

-[man on radio] Go ahead, Peter.
-[Peter] Are you comfortable

giving us support
for the campaign? Over.

Yeah, roger to that here.

[Peter] Oh, we appreciate that.

This'll be a demoralizing
blow for them.

Yeah, I hope so.

Yeah, it's one of the reasons we
really wanted to bag this poacher.

They've agreed to follow
the Thunder for a little bit.

All right. So we will have three
vessels just following them.

[Wyanda] It's going to be a
blow to the Thunder now to realize

it's not just a bunch of hippies

that's trying
to save the oceans,

but it's actually backed up
by the legal companies.

[Peter] We want him to feel
that there's no getting away.

We want him to feel
that the campaign

is reaching a critical mass.

Hey, Steve.

It's very nice to see you here.

It's good to be looking
at a vessel

that isn't the Thunder.

Are you comfortable coming in

within about two cables,
one cable?

All right, thanks for that,
Atlas Cove.

Standing by seven, seven.

Yeah, that's fine.

[speaking Spanish]

[Peter] It's good
to see that there are

some conservation-minded
fishermen out there.

I think it's pretty clear to the
captain and the crew of the Thunder

that the entire world is
against what they're doing,

and they have no safe haven.

[speaking Spanish]

[Wyanda] And they
didn't react to that at first.

They just kept radio silence.
And then, all of the sudden...

[Peter] Oh, they're turning.

We need more RPM.

[Thunder crew member] You
realize that you're a tiny, little boat

which has a huge steel ship

that is trying to act
aggressively towards us.

[horn blowing]

[Wyanda] The Thunder
went right in between

the Bob and the Atlas Cove

and there was only
a cable between them.

[man] The Thunder tries to
show that they're aggressive

to show how big their balls are.

To me, I think it just shows
the desperation they're feeling.

[Peter] The captain of the
Thunder feels like he's trapped.

There's nowhere left
for him to run.

[Thunder captain
speaking Spanish]

[Sid] If someone says
"I'm not afraid" 25 times,

it probably means that
they are beginning to tire

and get afraid of what lies
ahead when they reach port.

[Thunder captain
speaking Spanish]

He says he doesn't mind
if his ship sinks?

- [man] Yeah, that's it.
- Wow.

[Sid] Tell him, "Good."

As long as he stays
in international waters,

he's gonna have the ships
with him.

He has call port at some point.

[Thunder captain
speaking Spanish]

Atlas Cove. Bob Barker.
Seven, seven.

He's obviously quite
flustered, and I think...

I think we've accomplished
what we set to achieve

in demoralizing him.

I don't think I've ever
heard the captain

of that ship
so stressed before. Over.

Okay, well, safe sailing
there, Steve.

And we'll have the crew ready
to wave you off

and then wish you a
safe passage. Thank you.

[Thunder crew member] He
was saying that he wasn't afraid

and just saying
that his crew was afraid.

The reality is that the captain

was the one asking us
not to get close

and just wondering why
there is this fleet

behind his ship.

[Peter] I certainly think
that we heard him...

break psychologically.

And I think this is probably
the worst day

that he has had of this chase.

[horn blowing]

Hey, Peter.
We'll just go past your stern

and give the crew
a chance to say goodbye,

- then we'll be on our way.
- It's been great

-having you guys here. We're really gonna miss you.
-Good luck out here.

And hopefully things go
as we've planned.

Thanks, my friend, see you soon.

See you soon.


Bye, Sid!


[Sid] We'll be heading
towards Mauritius.

When we get there, we'll have
someone from Interpol

come for statements
and photographs

and evidence collection.

Let them see
all the 72 kilometers of line

that we have lying
across on the Sam's deck.

Then we'll refuel
and reprovision

our ship and then
come back to resupply

the Bob Barker.

[Peter] Once again,
we're alone down here.

The Thunder and the Bob Barker

have entered a waiting game.

Their only option
to avoid arrest

is to try to outlast
the Bob Barker.

We have a war
of attrition on our hands.

It's a battle where both sides

are in the trenches
staring at each other

to see who's going to make
the next move.

[McDonnell] All the way through
the chase, there were photographs

being taken of people
on the bridge

which would be shared

with national
enforcement agencies.

It grew organically like that

and we expanded
the operational group.

Twenty-five countries have
contributed something to this.

So as the Thunder moved
towards South Africa

then South Africa and Nigeria
became more involved.

It has been one of the
biggest things that we've done.

They've been an iconic gang.

The fact is that there are
lots of other gangs out there

doing similar or worse things

and we need to tackle them
as well.

[Sid] Well, yesterday, in
conversation with the officials

who came in from Interpol
at the meeting that we had

at the police's headquarters,
one of the biggest parts

of the Sam Simon
in this whole investigation

is linking the gear
that we have on board

with the Thunder.

There's specific things
like... Like this, you know?

Crossing a knot,
passing it back through this.

Even the way there's
three orange buoys

with two foam floats just to be
able to spot it from the surface.

The group over there
is recreating a gillnet,

so there's little twines
that hold the gillnet up.

There's a specific spacing,
there's a specific knot,

there's a specific construction.

[woman] It's sort of a
signature for these fishermen.

So then when the Thunder
does return to port

and they have lines on board,

all we have to do
is look at their lines

and the splicing
and the connections,

and compare the two together.

[McDonnell] This is analogous
to a blood-stained

jacket at a murder scene.

You know, where you're
gonna look at the cloth,

the thread, the buttons.
Where did all this come from?

[Sid] Welcome again.

[man] We really have to put a
lot of faith in the Interpol system.

We're doing the job of
authorities at sea,

and so now it's time
for them to pick up

their side of the bargain
at this end.

And after seeing the way
Interpol went around the ship,

I'm very hopeful.

[man 2] We've just spent
almost 90 days now

of following the Thunder,

and when they go back to port,

they're gonna have Interpol
to face and the courts

and that's not looking
very good for them.

And the same thing will happen

for any other poaching vessels
out there on the high seas.

[Peter] Today is our 100th day
with the Thunder.

Recently, we've received the
news that the country of Nigeria

has removed the flag
from the Thunder

and that will make it
near impossible for them

to enter any port
without detention.


Right now, after 100 days,
I feel somewhat exhausted,

but also invigorated.

[woman] We have covered
three oceans now.

We've got our eyes on our target.
So we're not gonna let them go.

[woman speaking]

[Peter] Uh, could you let Irwin
know just to bring the revs up?

[Peter] It's really black,
whatever's burning now.

[Peter] What do you think, Adam?

Yesterday, the Thunder
had a big burn

on their aft deck.

I don't really know
what they're burning.

They maintained radio silence
so as to add confusion.

We'll keep our eye on them.

Thunder. Bob Barker.

[speaking foreign language]

Thunder. Thunder. Thunder.

Bob Barker. Bob Barker.

[speaking foreign language]

I think they decided that we
weren't on talking terms.

[man speaking]

They're burning the evidence.

Maybe they're gonna go
into port.

[distress call]

There's at least a dozen
people on the aft deck.

All wearing orange.

[Thunder captain]
Bob Barker, it's Thunder.

[speaking Spanish]

[Parker] He's got a problem
and they're sinking?


[man speaking]

Ask them where's the water
coming in.

[speaking Spanish]

Fifteen minutes, he said.

It's not gonna sink
in 15 minutes.

[ringing alarm]

[Peter] Just keep doing circles.
We gotta get a boat in the water.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[Peter] I'm finding it
hard to believe

that the flooding would be
of such an extent

if it's happening at all
to actually sink the vessel.

One of my concerns

is that the captain
of the Thunder

is keeping a skeleton crew
on board his ship

to flee the scene when
I start rescuing his crew.

Perhaps they'll actually go to
one of these West African countries

to try to offload
their illegal catch.

They can arrive before the
international criminal police

can liaise
with local authorities

to get the vessel detained.

- Get Sid on the phone.
- Copy that.

[phone ringing]

- Sam Simon, this is Sid.
- [Peter] Hey, Sid.

So it's a very surreal
situation we've got here.

We've got the captain
of the Thunder

putting out a distress on
VFC. The distress is sinking,

they're abandoning ship
right now.

We're putting a boat
in the water to recover them.

You think it's sort of
a hoax call?

I don't know, they're
abandoning ship right now.

How close are you?

[Sid] I'm about 36 miles away.

It'll take at least
three hours to get there.

Straight for us as quick
as you can.

- Okay, Peter.
- Thanks.

Talk soon. Bye.
I need top speed.

[Peter] I think they're getting
ready for their endgame.

This is very suspicious.

I don't feel like the
Thunder's sinking very quickly.

Ask him how many persons
on board. How many crew.

[speaking Spanish]

He said they have 40.

[Peter] So I just checked
that everybody's okay

and, uh,
we'll take it from there.

- They'll probably like it.
- Yeah. All right, good.

[tense music playing]

Gemini. Bob. Go ahead.

Can you check
the life rafts on port side?

See how many persons
are in there.

So that means five people are still
on board the Thunder. Okay. Thanks.

[phone ringing]

[Peter] Hey, Sid.

We've got about 35
of the crew in life rafts.

Do not take the crew on board

until you have support on site.

The Nigerian shipping
directory has replied

to the report that I sent out
saying it is very likely

a ploy by the Thunder to stop
you from chasing her.

And that the people
that you bring on board

could be armed,
hostile and dangerous.

[Peter] The Thunder
is drifting into the waters

of Sao Tome
in Equatorial Guinea.

The vessel is listing
to starboard,

but I don't really know whether
the ship is actually sinking

or if the captain
is just transferring valves

from one side of the ship
to the other.

Gemini. Bob. Copy.

[woman] I can see one man
on the bridge deck still.

[man on radio] Bob Barker.

[speaking Spanish]

He said he needs us
to take the people

from the life rafts, because
they're cold and nervous.

Ask him to calm them down.

The weather's good. We're
gonna keep them in the life raft

until another ship comes.
We're gonna give them water

and food and anything they need.

If I take 40 foreign persons
on board,

then that more than triples
the people I have on board.

It becomes
a very difficult situation.

They've been violent to my crew

and so I don't really
wanna take anybody on board

until the Sam Simon arrives.

[Thunder captain
speaking Spanish]

He said we're not respecting
the law.

Oh, come on. Tell him we're
the on scene coordinator.

We're dealing with this
the safest way possible.

They'll be perfectly fine,

we've got another ship
coming in two hours.

Tell him to take care
of his sinking ship.

[speaking Spanish]

The captain of the Thunder
has set his crew adrift.

But he's delaying abandoning
the ship himself.

Very, very strange behavior

for somebody who wants
to be rescued.

It looks like
they're sinking now.

Once I see the water reach
the hauling area on the Thunder,

I know that the vessel,
for certain, is going to sink.

The stability of the Thunder
is changing.

Tell him we're gonna use
our small boat.

We're gonna put a line
on the life raft,

so we're gonna tow them to us,
and we're gonna attach them to us

until the Sam Simon arrives.

[speaking Spanish]

Tell him we're not taking
anybody on board

until the captain
and the chief engineer

get off the ship as well.

[speaking Spanish]

I suspect that the Thunder
captain refuses to leave

the boat because he's probably
sinking his own ship.

- Yeah.
- [Peter] They don't want anybody to get the boat.

The boat's evidence
and he wants to ensure

that the vessel
will actually sink

before disembarking.

It's just a real desperate move,
no matter how you look at it.

So the story ends out here,
at the bottom of the sea.

Tell him get
the rest of his crew off

so we can take all of them
on board.

[speaking Spanish]

Tell the son of a bitch. Tell him
his crew have attacked my crew.

We cannot take them on board

until I know that all 40
people are on the life rafts.

[speaking Spanish]

We can deal
with all of this later.

Tell him to get
on his [bleep] boat

so we can take him on board.

We're gonna argue about this
for an hour while he's sinking?

We have both a moral
and a legal obligation

to uphold the safety
of life at sea.

But, at the same time,
I have to take into account

the safety of my own crew
and my own vessel.

[man] Share between the two.

[Peter] The Sam Simon
is the best vessel

to take on the Thunder crew.

We should be able to see them
in, like, ten minutes.

[Peter] They haven't been
pursuing the Thunder for all 110 days.

So it's likely
that there's less bad blood

between the two ships.

[Sid] Cordon off the stairs
on the back deck.

If we do recover crew,

they're not just gonna be
just walking around.

They're gonna be confined
to the back deck.

The possibility
of bringing 40 crew

from the Thunder
onto the Sam Simon

obviously weighs heavily
on my mind right now.

We'll have twice
the amount of people,

all of them with a lot
of anger against us.

It's a bit unnerving.

It's hard to imagine
how this day will end.

[Peter] Got it.

Hey there, Sid.
So we got a visual on you.

Just wondering

when you wanna
reach out to the Thunder.

Okay, thanks.

That looks like the captain
guy getting on right now.

Gemini, do you think everybody
has evacuated the vessel?

[Peter] With the arrival
of the Sam Simon,

I get the report
that the Thunder captain

has finally disembarked.

[man] Good morning.
Anybody speaks English?

Bob Barker. Bob Barker.
This is Echo.

The life raft is no longer
attached to the ship. Over.

Okay. Copy that.

[Peter] I feel happy
knowing all of the crew

must have left the Thunder

and that there's no immediate
danger to anybody's lives.

But I wanted to see
this vessel go into port,

I wanted to see a court.

Use the physical evidence on
board to track down the owners

and deliver justice,

and all of that becomes more
difficult with the vessel sinking.

- Sam. Bob.
- Hey, Peter.

- Sid, go ahead.
- Just wanna run something by you.

What do you think about
putting somebody on the Thunder

to see if they've left any
paperwork behind on the bridge?

I think that's a great idea.

But go before she sinks
any further.

- Okay.
- Okay, Peter. Thanks.

[Peter] When the captain
of the Thunder sees

that three of my crew members

are boarding
his abandoned vessel,

I can see that his mood
immediately sours.

He realizes that we may be able

to get some of the evidence
that he hasn't been able to ensure

would go down
to the bottom of the ocean.

It's going down fast.

Let's give them
another five minutes on board

- then let's get these guys off.
- All right.

I don't want them
to stay on too long.

Roger that. You have
about five more minutes

and then come on get off
the boat, okay?

Yeah, I told them that
seven minutes ago.

Irwin. Irwin. Bob Barker.
Get off that ship. Over.

- Are they still on the boat?
- Yeah, they've been told repeatedly to get off.

[Peter] They're really
drawing it out here.

Gemini. Bob Barker Bridge. This
boat's going down much quicker now.

So get them off.

Irwin. Irwin, Adam.

Irwin, Bob Barker Bridge.

Anteo. Anteo, Adam.

I really want
these guys to disembark.

- Roger that.
- Good job.

[Peter] After finding
the Thunder

down in the Southern Ocean, we
chased them across three oceans.

Over the 110 days,
we covered over 10,000 miles.

Why you here?

[yelling indistinctly]

Finally the captain
decided to sink

his own ship, but the courage
of my boarding team

has ensured that the legal
case against the captain

and officers
of the Thunder can continue.

We took one computer
from the bridge.

- Yeah, we got that.
- A mobile phone...

- Two mobile phones from the bridge, I think.
- [man] Yeah, some charts.

- And all the charts that they had in their drawers.
- Yep. Great.

All the doors were tied open, so that
it would flood. There's water already

inside the fish hatch.

- [Peter] Was there a lot of fish on board?
- Yeah. Bags and bags of fish.

Okay. All right, good job.

All right, let's have a look.

There's no head, huh?

[woman] No head, but from
the size and the flesh color,

- I'd say it's definitely toothfish.
- Yeah?


[Peter] We set out to shut down
toothfish poachers in the Southern Ocean

and the evidence
that the illegal activities

of the Thunder
is now on our freezer.

[Thunder captain speaking]

Bob Barker, this is Echo.

The Spanish crew is pretty
nervous about the filming.

They want us to stop.

The guys in that raft are not
comfortable with the filming.

[Peter] The captain of the
Thunder becomes very, very difficult.

I think he doesn't really
want to be rescued by myself.

I think ideally he'd like
to be rescued

by some vessel where he can
hopefully then get onto land somewhere

and disappear.

Echo. Echo. This is Bob Barker.

[man] Everything points at
a deliberate scuttling.

[speaking Spanish]

[Thunder crew member] We're passing
them a line so we can tie it to them.

Don't bother
if you're gonna be like that.

[Peter] It's important to get
this evidence to Interpol

so that we can see the
captain jailed for his crimes.

Sam. Bob.

Bob Barker. Sam Simon. Go ahead.

You can see she's
going down a bit quicker now.

The bow's coming out
of the water considerably.

The fish hold hatch was open.

The ship's basically
been prepped to sink.

They're actually scuttling
their own ship?

It seems to indicate that.

[Sid] For someone to go out
and plan a sinking of their own ship

means that they have
a lot of pressure

from the owners to not allow
the vessel to go into port.

Yeah, there's no doubt
in my mind

that it was intentionally sunk.

[Peter] My life mission has been

to shut this vessel down,
and, within minutes,

this vessel will simply cease
to exist.

Attention, all crew.
Attention, all crew.

Looks like
the Thunder's going down.

That's insane.
That's [bleep] radars

and antennas and thousands of
dollars' worth of gear that is sinking.

It's hard to fathom.

[Wyanda] In a way, it just shows
how much money they're making.

- [Sid] I know!
- That they're willing to give all this up.

[tense music playing]

Oh, my God.

[man] All right.

[calm music playing]


Time is 12:52.

- 12:52. The Thunder is gone.
- There's some stuff over there.

It's out of this world to see
a ship go down like that.

A ship that was perfectly fine
this morning.

Not what I was expecting
when I woke up this morning.

Just like in the movies,
the bow went up.

Big bellow of air
came out of it,

and it just went
right down to the bottom.

[man] I think of all the scenarios
that went through our heads,

this was not
on any of our minds.

This just shows a desperate
guilty act, you know?

- Bob. Bob. Sam.
- Sam. Bob. Go ahead.

How bizarre was it watching
the Thunder go down?

Unreal. Just... Just unreal.

I felt my knees buckle
a little bit.

I couldn't have foreseen this
in a million years.

Now that the Thunder had sunk

and the Sam Simon
has to rescue the captain

and the crew
and contact the authorities

to take the rescued people
to Interpol for questioning.

Okay, so here's the plan.

We will embark people
from one life raft at a time.

I mean, one person at a time
comes on board.

They're checked to make sure
they've got no weapons.

We'll do that with
each life raft at a time

and then I'll call you back.

It's a sudden shift of emotions
to move from tailing the vessel

to now being the rescuers
of the very people

who we've been chasing
for the last 110 days.

Just throw it to them
so that they can attach it.

Just knowing
that there's a captain

who's willingly scuttled
his boat

is in a weak position but is
personally very angry at us,

and we are the cause
for him actually being

in a life raft at the moment.

It's a tough one.

Giving the unique
circumstances of our history,

this would not be
a regular rescue mission.

Bridge, we can make
a logbook entry

that we'll start embarking
the other crew. Over.

The captain needs to be the
first one who comes on board

so that he and I can have
a face-to-face.

I have to air on the side
of extreme caution.

The intentions and motives
of the Thunder captain

and the crew are unknown.

And just have
the captain come up.

Hey, okay.

- I'm the captain of the Sam Simon.
- Yes, you're captain.

Do you speak English,
or would you prefer Spanish?

English, Spanish,
I've got no problem.

We're gonna take all your
crew on board the Sam Simon

and then we're gonna go
to Sao Tome.

- Sao Tome? Okay.
- Can I have a crew list of your vessel, please?

- All the crew bring nothing.
- What about their passports?

Passports? No.
It's very, very fast.

- No, it takes six hours.
- Very, very fast.

[Sid] One of the biggest ways

to holding on to crews
on illegal ships

is for the captain to keep
travel documents of the crew.

Okay. One at the time,
they can come on board.

Seemed that he was really
holding on to the passports.

Lying that they are all sunk
with the ship

and then as they were
brought on by somebody else,

I caught on to that and managed to
give the passports back to the crew.

The Indonesian crew
are not responsible

for these crimes of the Thunder.

They're innocent men.

Can you ask him why he thinks
that the Thunder sank?

[speaking Spanish]

He was sleeping? All right.

Can you tell us
why the Thunder sank?

-As the chief engineer.
-[man] Yeah. Boom! Go to engine room.

Water. Water. Water. Water.

So "boom" as you hit something
or "boom" in the engine room?

- No, no. Hit something.
- You hit something?

- I think so.
- Okay. Okay.

Okay. Muchas gracias.

He's the fish master.

Fish master.

We don't have to ask him
'cause he's not gonna answer.

He does not have to answer.
Thank you.

[Wyanda] It is impossible to have a
ship full of people and nobody knows.

They have clearly been told
to tell us nothing.

[man] What is it going
with the security, security?

[Sid] We need to check the documents.
I don't know who this people are.

I need to stablish an identity.

This is a special situation,
you know.

You and I both know
what is behind the accident.

- Okay. Okay.
- So we have to be--

[Sid] Understand.

And the security, security--

I have to look after
my security.

I'm going to do it
according to my procedures.

- Don't tell me how I should do it on my ship.
- Okay. I get it.

I picked you up. I'm going
to take them to Sao Tome.

What I have to do is my
responsibility, yeah? Okay?

- Okay. Okay.
- Yeah.

Hey, Peter, just checking in.
We've got the captain on board.

Is he aggressive? Is he violent?

What's his behavior like?

He came on very quietly,
then he got a bit agitated.

And then we had a discussion.

Just kept saying that
I'm not treating him right,

but that doesn't bother me. So I'm just
gonna turn due east to Sao Tome now.

- Copy that.
- All right. I'll be standing by. Thanks, Peter.

[Sid] All right, Sonya.
Ten and a half knots.

In the transit from the Thunder's
sinking location to Sao Tome,

I passed on messages
to the relevant channels.

We decided
that the crew of the Thunder

would now all be taken to
the local Interpol in Sao Tome

where they will be held
for questioning.

The case will then progress
from there.

When I saw the Thunder captain

sitting on the Thunder's gear that
the Sam Simon had confiscated,

I knew that he resigned
himself to his destiny.

He lost his ship, his
fishing profits, his freedom.

Okay. I will have one of my
crew members standing by

to receive your personnel and,
the moment you're on board,

I will come down and meet you
personally. Over.

[indistinct conversation]

Now that the crew
of the Thunder has got

on to the boat to Sao Tome,
the campaign has just ended.

The Thunder crew
sank their ship this morning

all because of us.

She sits at the bottom
of the ocean.

Suddenly, tomorrow morning,
when I get up,

there's no poaching vessel
to look after.

[laughing and clapping]

This campaign started
with a pretty crazy idea

that we would just find
one of these poachers

and we would follow them
for... forever

or however long it took

and then we would just
kinda see what happens.

I've been with Sea Shepherd
for 12 years,

this has been
the most epic campaign

that I've ever been a part of.

Certainly, the campaign
I'm the most proud of.

All 40 have been taken to
the local Interpol headquarters.

Their plans to get away
by scuttling their vessel

haven't really come to much

and they'll gonna be held
for questioning,

specially the fishing master
and the captain.

This is-- has been the
biggest adventure of my life

and I'm really grateful that I've
been able to share it all with you.

So you trusted me
from the beginning.

I know there were
a lot of difficult times.

And I think what we've said
multiple times over this campaign

which is that when a group of
determined people come together,

you can move mountains,

and I think that's
what we've done

through this whole campaign.

Ultimately, on Peter's and my
behalf, I want to say thank you.

I hope we'll have many more
adventures together.

[cheering and clapping]

[man] Three cheers for Peter!

- Hip hip!
- [all] Hooray!

- Hip hip!
- [all] Hooray!

- Hip hip!
- [all] Hooray!

[all cheering]

[narrator] In 2015,
a court in Sao Tome

fined the owners
and captain of the Thunder

and two of the ship's
officers 15 million euros

for charges related to the
illegal sinking of their vessel.

The captain and officers

received multiple-year jail
sentences for their actions.

[McDonnell] It was a significant
achievement by Sea Shepherd,

but the Thunder was one
of the group of six vessels,

the banded six
who've been involved

in unregulated fishing
in the Southern Ocean.

We've been tackling
the others at the same time.

One is detained in Senegal

and a couple were in Cape Verde.

In Malaysia, prosecuted
the Perlon.

Indonesia had some success.

So what we're saying is, overall,
we've disrupted the operation severely

as a result
of international corporation

delivering some severe blows
to this network.

In the spring of 2016,

Spanish Guardia Civil arrested
members of the Vidal family,

of playing a key role

in the illegal
toothfish industry.

Charges were dismissed
by the Spanish supreme court

due to lack
of criminal jurisdiction

on the high seas, but the
facts were not disputed.

A key part of the strategy

is to disrupt the activities
that the people were facilitating,

the transactions,
the agents ashore.

And that relies on strong
national legislations,

which is the case now in Spain.

We're going at this
from all angles.

[Sid] We always go out
to these campaigns

knowing that we're
mentally stronger

and more determined
to take on these opponents

and I feel we're very
persistent with what we do.

We're a stubborn group of
people who never, ever give up.

That's what eventually
wears the opponent down.

[Peter] This campaign is
going to go down in history

because 29 crew on this ship
and 30 on the Sam Simon

did what the governments
could not do in eight years

and that was to shut down
this poacher.

It will inspire groups and other
movements and other causes.

If you see a problem, it's
not enough to just sit by

and hope that it goes away.

It requires
your personal involvement.

[tense music playing]