Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
In 1997 I was held in a Dutch prison awaiting an extradition trial to Norway for sinking one of their illegal whaling ships the “Nybraena”. I was held for 120 days and received incredible support from the Dutch public and most notably from Rutger Hauer who twice visited me at Lelystad Prison. Rutger helped mobilize other celebrities and the Dutch court ruled to release me without extradition to Norway.
Rutger passed away on the 19th July at the age of 75 and all of us with Sea Shepherd will miss him very much.
His support over the last 22 years gave us all strength and inspiration. When I returned from my 15 month exile at sea in 2013 Rutger along with James Costa hosted a dinner party in Hollywood to welcome me back.
In 2006 Rutger was on a movie set in Cape Town and took the time to take the entire crew of the Farley Mowat out for the evening for dinner and drinks.
When we needed him he was there for us and for the whales and other citizens of the sea. Always generous, always supportive and always with a smile.
He was a good friend. I sailed with him on a few weekends in Santa Monica Bay and shared stories and life experiences.
As an actor he was a legend. In Blade Runner he made the replicant he portrayed possess more humanity than the humans pursuing him. He played good guys, bad guys, a blind guy and of course will always be remembered as The Man of Orange, a legend in his native Netherlands and the world.
Rutger was a Shepherd of the Sea, a hero for the planet and a truly wonderful person.