MV Brigitte Bardot

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MV Gojira docked in Hobart harbour, 2010.
  • Cable and Wireless Adventurer (1998–2007),
  • Ocean 7 Adventurer (2007–08),
  • Rat Race Media Adventurer (2008–10),
  • MV Gojira (2010–11),
  • MV Brigitte Bardot (2011 – present)
OwnerSea Shepherd Conservation Society (2010–2021)
Port of registryFremantle,  Australia
BuilderVosper Thornycroft
Launched16 March 1998
FateSold to private owner
General characteristics
Class and typeDNV Yacht R0
Displacement41 ton
Length114.5 ft (34.9 m)
Beam46.2 ft (14.1 m)
Draught4.4 ft (1.3 m)
Propulsion2 x 370 kW (500 hp) QSC Cummins Mercruiser
  • 27 knots (50.0 km/h)
  • (Cruising speed: 22 knots (40.7 km/h) )
Range3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km)
Capacity16,000 litres
Crew12 to 16

MV Brigitte Bardot (formerly MV Gojira, Rat Race Media Adventurer, Ocean 7 Adventurer and Cable and Wireless Adventurer) is a unique high-tech 35 m (115 ft) stabilized monohull twin diesel engine powered vessel designed by Nigel Irens. Construction of the vessel began in June 1997 and she was launched on 16 March 1998. The official naming ceremony took place on 3 April 1998 in London's West India Dock. In 2021, the vessel was sold to a private owner.

Cable and Wireless Adventurer[edit]

Originally named Cable and Wireless Adventurer, she was built for the purpose of circumnavigating the world in less than 80 days. This was successfully accomplished in July 1998 in 74 days, 20 hours, 58 minutes, traveling more than 22,600 nautical miles (41,855 km). This achievement set a new Guinness World Record for a powered vessel. However, on 27 June 2008 Earthrace (later renamed Ady Gil), the biodiesel powered wave-piercing trimaran, set a new world record when it docked at the Vulkan shipyard in Sagunto, Spain after completing a circumnavigation in just 60 days 23 hours and 49 minutes. Both records are longer than the 60 days, 21 hours claimed by the US Navy's USS Triton nuclear-powered submarine during Operation Sandblast in 1960[2] and of the current record by a sailing boat.

The design of the vessel was evaluated and proven by hydrodynamic tank testing, and a 21.3 m (70 ft) scale prototype named the iLAN Voyager completed sea trials to demonstrate the advantages of the concept.

The vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communications equipment.

Ocean 7 Adventurer[edit]

In 2007 the vessel was acquired by Ocean 7, a Cape Town based marine brokerage and charter operation. The vessel was recommissioned and transferred to a mooring at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The vessel was available for charter, film work and the occasional marine rescue operation.

Ocean 7 Adventurer

In December 2007 Ocean 7 Adventurer was chartered to retrieve a demasted yacht, IMOCA 60 Delta Dore from the Southern Ocean. Delta Dore was partaking in the Barcelona World Race. The yacht skippered by Jérémie Beyou and Sidney Gavignet was at position 47°00 S 033° 25 E, nearly a thousand miles south east from South Africa, drifting slowly at between 1 and 2 kn (2 and 4 km/h) east. An hour after the mast had collapsed backwards, it had to be cut free and dumped into the ocean, as it was likely to damage the hull. The yacht had 188 l (41 imp gal) of diesel fuel on board, but this was insufficient to motor back to the mainland. The Ocean 7 team were approached with regard to salvaging the yacht. Skippered by co-owner David de Villiers, Ocean 7 Adventurer set sail for the Southern Ocean and after locating the yacht, she was taken in tow with a 200 m (656 ft) line. This rescue set a record for the longest tow in South African maritime history (850 nmi (1,574 km)).

During early June 2008 Ocean 7 Adventurer moved to the east coast of South Africa to observe the annual sardine run, after which it relocated to the southern end of Madagascar in July in search of waves amongst the reefs where the vessel was used as a live-aboard base for surfers and kite surfers. During September Ocean 7 Adventurer explored the Baron Islands off the Madagascar coast before returning to her base at the V&A Waterfront for the summer season, where she was available for day charters, specialised trips and functions.

Rat Race Media Adventurer[edit]

Rat Race Media Adventurer

In 2008 she was repainted in Rat Race Media graphics and was the star of a TV series on kykNET, Aqua X. The series started in October 2008 and aired until January 2009.

Miles for Smiles Adventurer[edit]

In November 2009 Ocean 7 Adventurer was chartered by the Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation to be the support vessel during leg one of the Miles for Smiles Madagascar Challenge which consisted of David Grier paddling some 550 km (342 mi) from Nacala Mozambique to Cap St Andre in Madagascar.[3] Before setting out to sea Ocean 7 Adventurer received a new look with the Miles for Smiles regalia.

MV Gojira[edit]

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) acquired the $4 million vessel for its 2010–11 campaign against Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary[4][5] and renamed her the MV Gojira (named after the French heavy metal band who have supported the charity, which is derived from the Japanese name for "Godzilla"[6]). She was the first Australian-flagged vessel to be operated by the Sea Shepherd Society, and though slower, she is twice as large as MY Ady Gil,[7] making her more stable than the boat she replaced. Gojira successfully located the whaling factory vessel Nisshin Maru in the Ross Sea during Sea Shepherd's Operation No Compromise, and broke a record for travelling farther south than any other multi-hulled yacht in history, at 76*30 South Latitude.

MV Brigitte Bardot[edit]

Stern view of the MV Brigitte Bardot from MY Bob Barker's helideck. An inflatable boat and personal water craft are visible secured on the aft deck

In May 2011 the SSCS was served with a notice from Toho Company Ltd., the copyright holder and owner of the Gojira/Godzilla franchise, regarding the unauthorized use of the trademark. The Society promptly changed the vessel's name to the MV Brigitte Bardot in honor of the French fashion model, actress and singer whom Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd, took on an anti-sealing trip in 1977.[8] In addition to a new name, the vessel also received a new paint scheme; the overall black scheme was replaced by a grey coloration similar to that of a naval vessel.

The ship was damaged by a rogue wave of 11 m (36.1 ft) while pursuing the Japanese whaling fleet off the western coast of Australia on 28 December 2011.[9] The MV Brigitte Bardot was escorted back to Fremantle by the SSCS flagship, MY Steve Irwin. The main hull was cracked and the port side pontoon was being held together by straps. The vessel arrived at Fremantle Harbor on 5 January 2012. Both ships were followed by the ICR security vessel MV Shōnan Maru 2 at a distance of 5 nautical miles (9 km).[10]

The repair process, with a cost of over $250,000, included placing the ship in a hermetically sealed chamber. Composite yacht experts from across the globe, including the ship's designer, were flown in to assess the damages and recommend a course of action. Sea Shepherd's 18 Australian chapters raised the money necessary to repair the vessel. Repairs to the MV Brigitte Bardot were completed and the ship set sail for sea trials on 16 April 2012.[11]

The MV Brigitte Bardot at Circular Quay in Sydney on 9 June 2012.

In September 2012, the MV Brigitte Bardot was expelled from Fiji by local naval and immigration officials.[12]

On 5 January 2013 in Timaru, New Zealand, a distress call was issued in relation to the MV Brigitte Bardot after an observer mistook the vessel for an overturned yacht. While several vessels nearby responded to the call, the MV Brigitte Bardot did not respond and instead turned away at high speed upon the arrival of a rescue helicopter. The South Canterbury Coastguard and Maritime New Zealand criticized Sea Shepherd over the incident, stating "There was no need for Sea Shepherd to behave like this". Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson said the first the organization knew about the distress call was when the helicopter arrived. "We can't help it if someone else makes the call. There was nothing wrong with the ship," he said.[13]

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic Sea Shepherd has ended up selling vessels instead of maintaining them. The Bardot served Sea Shepherd well for 11 years doing campaigns in the Faroe Islands, the Mediterranean, and the US until the pandemic when Paul Watson ordered it and the MY Alchemy retired because of high maintenance cost and the cost of transportation to campaigns and Sea Shepherd moving away from yachts to double hull vessels to prevent them being crushed when they are on campaign or in the ocean. To this end Sea Shepherd struck the Bardot from the register on 19 June 2021 and sold the vessel to a new owner in Mexico.[14]


  1. ^ "Brigitte Bardot". Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  2. ^ Tully, Clive (2002). Confronting Poseidon: Around the World Against the Odds. Portsmouth, England: Offshore Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-9544093-0-2. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  3. ^ "The Madagascar Challenge". Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  4. ^ Darby, Andrew (18 November 2010). "Ady Gil and whalers both at fault for collision: inquiry". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Anti-Whaling Activists Unveil New High-Speed Interceptor". RedOrbit. 1 December 2010.
  6. ^ Blabbermouth (2 December 2010). "Interceptor Vessel Named After French Metal Band GOJIRA". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  7. ^ Andrew Darby (2 December 2010). "'Godzilla' ready to battle Japan's tardy whalers". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ "The Beast Transforms into a Beauty as Godzilla Becomes the Brigitte Bardot". Sea Shepherd News. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. 25 May 2011. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Brigitte Bardot finally back in port". Jane Hammond. The West Australian. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  10. ^ Jiji Press, "Sea Shepherd scouting vessel badly damaged", Japan Times, 30 December 2011, p. 2.
  11. ^ Hammond, Jane (16 April 2012). "Repaired Bardot sets sail". The West Australian. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Sea Shepherd expelled from Fiji". ABC Radio Australia. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  13. ^ Littlewood, Matthew (8 January 2013). "Sea Shepherd Criticised After False Alarm Rescue..." Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Sea Shepherd Retires High-Speed Trimaran, Brigitte Bardot". Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. 20 June 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2021.

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