16 Jan 2012

Whaling activists back in Australia

8:08 pm on 16 January 2012

Supporters have welcomed home three West Australians who sparked a major diplomatic incident when they were detained after illegally boarding a Japanese whaling ship more than a week ago.

Simon Peterffy, 44, Geoffrey Tuxworth, 47, and Glen Pendlebury, 27, are now back on shore after being transferred to an Australian customs vessel off the coast of Western Australia.

The trio climbed aboard the Japanese surveillance vessel Shonan Maru 2 more than a week ago to protest against Japan's whaling programme, the ABC reports.

They could have been taken to Japan to face criminal charges, but were released without charge.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has labelled the men's actions as irresponsible.