Erwin is Dutch and has been working for more than twenty years at sea. He has been a Chief Engineer since 1998. During periods of leave, he spent his time traveling around the world to a growing realization that all the natural beauty that he visited also needed protection. Since then he has combined his job with volunteering for Sea Shepherd.
Erwin has participated in campaigns in the Southern Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Faeroe Islands, Taiji in Japan, the Columbia River in the U.S., the Gulf of Mexico and California. In addition he helps as needed on ship management, repairs, and campaigns.
Erwin was arrested in Taiji in December 2011 for allegedly pushing a dolphin trainer, while trying to document the transfer of dolphins to a captive facility. Erwin spent 64 days in a Japanese cell before he was ultimately acquitted of the false accusations.
Erwin works together with his girlfriend Susan on animal rescues in the US. They share their home with one-eyed cat Snake, one-kidney cat Dolly, deaf cat Poes, blind and deaf dog Sally and former Galapagos wildlife-contraband-sniffing dog, Canine Officer Manotas. Erwin calls both Friday Harbor, San Juan Island in the U.S., and Veldhoven, the Netherlands home, but he spends as much time at sea.
He photographs and writes for www.piepvandaag.nl and for www.seashepherd.org.