MY Sam Simon

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Sea Shepherd Sam Simon PB.JPG
Sam Simon in 2014
Japanese flagJapan
Name: Seifu Maru
Owner: Japan Meteorological Agency[1]
Operator: Maizuru Marine Observatory
Builder: Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co Ltd
Yard number: 3035[2]
Laid down: 6 April 1992[2]
Launched: 11 August 1992[2]
Christened: 1993
Completed: 22 January 1993[1][2]
In service: 1993–2010
Homeport: Maizuru, Kyoto
Identification:IMO number9053452[3]
Fate: Sold in 2010
Japanese flagJapan
Name: Kaiko Maru No. 8
Owner: Offshore Operation Co., Ltd
Acquired: 2010
In service: 2010–2012
Renamed: 2010
Fate: Sold in 2012
Tuvalu flagTuvalu
Name: New Atlantis
Owner: New Atlantis Ventures LLC[2]
Port of registry: Funafuti
Acquired: September 2012
In service: September 2012 – December 2012
Fate: Management assumed by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society; transferred to Australian register
Australian flagAustralia
Name: Sam Simon
Namesake: Sam Simon
Owner: New Atlantis Ventures LLC[2]
Operator: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society[2]
Port of registry: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia[4]
In service: 2012–2013
Identification: Call sign: VJN4108
Status: Re-Flagged to the Netherlands
Dutch FlagNetherlands
Name: Sam Simon
Owner: New Atlantis Ventures LLC
Operator: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Port of registry: Rotterdam, Netherlands
In service: 2013-present
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Research/Survey Vessel
Tonnage: 484 GT
Length: 55.5 m (182.1 ft) loa[2]
Beam: 9.8 m (32.2 ft)[2]
Draught: 3.50 m (11.48 ft)[2]
Depth: 4.30 m (14.11 ft)[2]
Installed power: One 6-cylinder diesel by Akasaka Diesel Ltd, Japan. 1,300 kW (1,800 hp)[2]
Propulsion: Single shaft; controllable-pitch propeller
Speed: 12.9 knots (23.9 km/h; 14.8 mph)[3] - 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)[citation needed]
Capacity: 200 tons fuel
Crew: 43

MY Sam Simon is the fourth vessel of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society fleet, named after American television producer and writer Sam Simon, who donated the money to purchase the vessel. The ship's identity was kept secret, to be revealed when she met the Japanese whaling fleet in 2012, but was identified when her registration was discovered on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's list of registered ships.[4]

Sam Simon is the former Japanese weather survey ship Kaiko Maru No 8. Sea Shepherd paid the Government of Japan AUD $2,000,000 for the vessel.[5] She was renamed MV New Atlantis shortly before being moved to Brisbane, Queensland. She was subsequently re-registered under the Australian flag as a pleasure craft called Sam Simon.[4]


Sam Simon was built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co Ltd in Tokyo, Japan as Seifu Maru[2] (清風丸, Seifū Maru – meaning cool breeze), a marine meteorological and oceanographic observation ship. The purpose of Seifu Maru and her sister ships was to conduct observations of the pollution affecting the marine environment in the waters around Japan and the western North Pacific, covering greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances, heavy metals, and oils. The Japan Meteorological Agency operated five ships: Chofu Maru (長風丸, 1987), Kofu Maru (高風丸, 1988), Seifu Maru (清風丸, 1993), Ryofu Maru (凌風丸, 1995) and Keifu Maru (啓風丸, 2000). Seifu Maru was operated by the Maizuru Marine Observatory and worked in the Sea of Japan. The Japanese ARGO Program (アルゴ計画) was completed and the un-needed vessel was sold to Offshore Operation Co. Ltd and was renamed Kaiko Maru No 8 in 2010.

MY Sam Simon in Hobart, Tasmania in December 2012

In September 2012, Kaiko Maru was purchased by New Atlantis Ventures LLC, based in Wilmington, Delaware USA (a shell corporation of Sea Shepherd), and renamed New Atlantis, registered under the flag of Tuvalu. In December 2012, New Atlantis was renamed Sam Simon. $500,000 of upgrades for increased speed and range were undertaken in Brisbane, where she was docked and supplies were taken on board for the voyage to the whale sanctuary.[6] The vessel was publicly unveiled in Hobart, Tasmania in December 2012.[7]

On February 20, 2013, the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru collided with Sam Simon, MY Steve Irwin and MY Bob Barker multiple times in a confrontation in the Southern Ocean, north of Australia's Casey Research Station in Antarctica.[8]


  1. ^ a b "430t Type Marine Meteorological and Oceanographical Observation Ship, Seifu Maru". TRID Database. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Sam Simon". IHS-Fairplay Sea-web database (subscription). Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Kaiko Maru No. 8". Retrieved 16 December 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "List of Registered Ships". Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  5. ^ Darby, Andrew (11 December 2012). "Japanese duped in $2m ship purchase". WAtoday. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  6. ^ Darby, Andrew (11 December 2012). "Red herrings allow protest group to target Japan's whaling fleet". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  7. ^ Maclean, Locky (10 December 2012). "The SSS Sam Simon is Unveiled in Hobart, Tasmania". Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  8. ^ Choe, Kim (February 21, 2013). "Sea Shepherd claims victory over whalers". 3 News NZ. Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-02-20.

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