“Below Deck Mediterranean” reality TV star Captain Sandy Yawn defended the yachting industry on Saturday after footage of a climate change activist spray-painting a $300 million mega yacht emerged.
Yawn admitted that the whole industry pollutes and consumes, but said maritime leaders have vigorously become emission friendly and engage in philanthropic efforts.
She said the long history of shipping and trading, which is responsible for clothing and other essential products worldwide, creates positive change and helps to clothe people.
“There are 5,000 yachts roughly in the world. There are over 100,000 ships in the world. So, to target yachts, I don’t think it’s very fair to use paint on top of it to spray a boat. I don’t think that’s very environmentally friendly, too, you know,” she said.
Yawn, who previously ran a Sea Shepard vessel, also noted boats are necessary to save whales, conduct research and improve oceans.
“These people who launched super yachts, they actually put money back into research and science. And a lot of them have labs on their yachts,” she said, asserting that the industry is full of “givers,” not “takers.”
On Sunday, an activist with the environmental group “Futuro Vegetal” uploaded a video to social media in which one of their members sprayed black and red paint on a yacht owned by Nancy Walton Laurie, the Walmart heiress.
In the video, activists stand in front of the yacht holding a banner that reads, “You consume, others suffer.”
“The richest one percent of the world’s population pollutes more than the poorest 50 percent, the group said in the clip. They are condemning us to a future of pain, misery and desolation.”
The group added that the wealthy are destroying the planet and “compromising the habitability of earth” to live in a way that goes “beyond the limits of reason.”
A week earlier, runways on Balearic Island were forced to close after demonstrators from the group targeted a private jet at the airport.
Both incidents were part of Futuro Vegetal’s “Jets and Yachts, the Party is Over” campaign, designed to target the one percent and bring awareness to their extravagant lifestyle.
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