The New Zealand-registered whaling protest ship Ady Gil, which collided on Wednesday with a Japanese whaling ship in Australia’s Antarctic waters, has sunk while being towed.

A spokesman from the Sea Shepherd conservation society said the crew of the Bob Barker – the conservation group’s latest ship to take to the waters – tried to salvage the $NZ1.5m ($1.1m) vessel, reports Xinhua.

But attempts to tow the badly-damaged vessel failed.

The crew removed all oil and fuel to avoid any pollution before the boat sunk.