By Honey Gillard 

After 7 hours alone and lost in the icy waters of the south, two whale activists have been found in Antarctica – alive and safe.

Activists with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society tracked down the Japanese fleet near the Ross Sea early on Friday, after spending weeks searching the glacial waters, with a plan of disrupting Japan’s annual whale hunt.
Within hours, squads of activists occupying high speed inflatable rubber boats had begun their campaign of persecution – setting off severak smoke bombs, hurling foul-smelling material at the whalers, and attempting to seal holes, which drain water and blood from the ships.
Little did a pair of activists – comprising of an Australian, Karl Nielson from Western Australia and an American, John Gravois from Los Angeles – know that they were about to face a life-threatening event. The pair were aboard a Zodiac inflatable dinghy, which suddenly disappeared in fog in the icy waters southwest of Australia.
Japanese whalers joined anti-whaling activists in the cold ocean seas surrounding Antarctica, calling a temporary truce as they searched for two missing activists in an inflatable.

Gravois claimed that they had been trying to foul the propeller of the vessel with a net, but got too close and withing moments the dinghy was taking on water, the weight of which preventing them from keeping up with the other crafts in the protest fleet.
They were then encircled with fog, and in freezing conditions, the men reached for their radio but it failed to work – they were stranded.

“We just kept going out from one point in a circular search until we found them. They were standing up and waving and smiling.” reported Captain Watson, aboard the Sea Shepherd flagship Farley Mowat.
After 7 freezing and havocous hours for the two young men they were hurled to safety, obviousely knowing how lucky they were to be alive.
“It was not so much a matter of not being found, it’s how long it’s going to take because you can only stay out on those conditions for a certain amount of time before the cold really starts doing some detrimental things,” Neilsen, 29, told ABC radio. He continued saying that they done what they could do to keep themselves alive for as long as possible – they pulled out the safety blankets, huddled together and kept warm.
Captain Watson revealed earlier that he was confident the men would be found well as they were dressed for the conditions in wet suits and survival suits.
He also said that he had thanked the Japanese for their aidance before telling them, “now it’s back to business.” 
Hideki Moronuki, the chief of the whaling section of the Japanese Fisheries Agency, told “Their dangerous activity caused this tragedy. I ask Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace to stop this kind of dangerous activity immediately.”
Japan intends to harpoon up to 935 minke whales, as well as 10 fin whales under its scientific research program this year.

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