Last week, two crew members from the Bob Barker suffered hypothermia after waiting in small motor boats for more than 12 hours. Finally, all Sea Shepherd crew are now back on board the Bob Barker.
Meanwhile, the Steve Irwin has received a distress call from the New Zealand Search and Rescue. They are asking for the crew onboard the Steve Irwin to help find the five missing crew members who were onboard a Norwegian-registered yacht, the Berserk.
The Berserk sent a distress call approximately 18 nautical miles (33km) north of Scott Base in the Ross Sea. This is the point of reference the Steve Irwin will head toward as they begin their search. According to officials, the crew was commemorating the discovery of the South Pole.
Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Founder leading all efforts focused on ending Japanese whaling recognizes the name of the captain said to be onboard the Beserk. He says if the sailors are somewhere to be found, this man is the one to give the five-member crew the best chance of survival.
Even after the New Zealand Navy has turned back to go home due to a storm, the crew members onboard the Steve Irwin know they are headed straight into the same severe weather. They know that if there is any hope to find the lost sailors at sea, they must forge ahead with skies ahead almost black – an ominous site of what is to come.
The wind grows stronger at 50 knots and climbing. The ship plunges ahead and the waves crash against the ship and the chunks of floating icebergs. These icebergs are large enough to rip through any vessel, including the Steve Irwin, if it comes too close. They also know that the Beserk is less than one-fourth the size of their ship.
Concern grows more intense on the faces of those onboard the Steve Irwin. One crew member sends a text to his wife letting her know how much he loves her and his family. He apologizes for anything he may have said or done in even the smallest of ways to help clear his conscious. He knows that this storm, the increasingly harsh conditions, winds and waves could prove to be part of his final hours at sea alive.
Miraculously, the dawn of a new day breaks and somehow the Steve Irwin has remained intact and has kept its crew alive and well. The Steve Irwin has survived the most severe storm it has encountered in its 35 years at sea. Parts of the vessel are covered with ice that crew members are busy breaking through to remove from the ship.
It's time to send their helicopter and its pilot, Chris Aultman to the last location provided by Beserk's beacon signal. Aultman arrives at the location. There is only the sea in site from every direction. As he is instructed to cover a specific area by air, suddenly a crew member onboard the Steve Irwin sees something through the binoculars.
"What is it," a crew member questions.
The crew scrambles to look through various pairs of binoculars and alongside the deck to see what this 'something' might be.
As they approach, it becomes clearer that it's a life raft of some sort. You can hear the tension mount as crew members are holding their breath wondering what they might find...
Coming next: Whale Wars - "Race To Save Lives" What You Missed PART 2