Our Flagship

Thank You & Farewell to the M/Y Steve Irwin

Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel, the M/Y Steve Irwin, has courageously served 18 campaigns all around the world defending, conserving and protecting our oceans. She has sailed for 11 years on Sea Shepherd campaigns in some of the world’s roughest seas. In December 2018, our Global Board of Directors made the heavy-hearted decision to retire her from our fleet. 

Why has the ship been retired? 

All ships in the Sea Shepherd fleet are regularly assessed and our latest assessment raised a number of issues. To correct these issues, and consider ongoing maintenance, was not practical so the very difficult decision was made by Sea Shepherd Global’s Board of Directors to retire the vessel.

Sea Shepherd's Founder, Captain Paul Watson: “On December 7, 2007, Teri Irwin and I launched the M/V Steve Irwin, a vessel that would be our flagship for the next decade. It has been my honour to have been captain of this vessel for so many successful high seas campaigns. The lives we have saved and the difference we have made with this vessel has been awesome. We worked the ship hard, through horrific storms and crushing ice and after eleven years, our engineers have determined that the Steve Irwin is no longer safe for sea.

"It is simply not wise to risk the lives of our crew beyond the boundaries of practicality. Despite the many risks we have taken over the years we have learned when to hold a ship and when to retire a ship and regrettably the time to retire the Steve Irwin is now. Battle scarred and damaged, regrettably she must be retired, but the memories, the campaign victories and the lives saved will be the lasting legacy of a ship that was as valiant and courageous as her namesake."

The M/Y Steve Irwin's final journey 

The M/Y Steve Irwin’s final journey will be to a Hong Kong Convention approved recycling facility, meaning it meets international labour and environmental regulations. 

Before the ship is retired, all equipment of value, like radios and radar, will be removed and dispersed appropriately around the fleet.

The M/Y Steve Irwin will pass the flag to the M/Y Ocean Warrior, to become the flagship of Sea Shepherd’s global fleet, which consists of 11 seafaring vessels, and other smaller boats, which makes up the world’s largest private navy.

The M/Y Steve Irwin will always hold a very special place in the hearts of her crew and the supporters who helped keep the ship active on the high seas so we could defend, conserve and protect our oceans and precious marine life.

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