At a ceremony today in Berne-Motzen, Germany, Greenpeace launched the third version of its protest vessel the Rainbow Warrior.
Purpose built as a campaigning vessel, the Rainbow Warrior carries state-of-the-art communications equipment, two fast boats and can carry a helicopter. Her unique set up makes her one of the most environmentally friendly vessels of her class.
"The new Rainbow Warrior is the perfect ship with which navigate the perfect storm of ecological, economic and democratic crises lashing our world”, said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director, at the ceremony.
“With an international crew on board, the Rainbow Warrior will confront environmental criminals across the world, investigate and expose destructive activities, but perhaps most of all will provide a beacon of hope and an inspiration to action wherever she goes.”
Greenpeace ships have helped put activists in front of harpoons to save whales, stopped barrels of toxic and radioactive waste from being dumped at sea, blocked shipments of illegal timber and put an end to nuclear testing.
Many of the greatest environmental victories have been won with the support of the Rainbow Warrior and other Greenpeace ships.
The construction of the Rainbow Warrior was paid for by over 100,000 individual donations. Donors were able to sponsor specific parts of the vessel and items of equipment.
If you’re one of the donors who bought a bolt, an action boat, an anchor, a chart, a soap dish, a piece of her sail or the whole of her wheelhouse, thank you. If you’re one of our 3 million regular annual donors, merci bien. If you’re one of our 17 million email or mobile subscribers, Facebook fans or Twitter followers, gracias. If you’re one of our 14,000 volunteers, danke schön.
We said the Earth needed a new warrior, and each of you answered that call: today we smash a bottle of champagne across the bow, and launch the world’s first ship built from the keel up to win the battle for the future of the Earth.
The ship will begin life with a thank-you tour of the European coast before making its first ocean crossing to begin active campaigning in the Americas.
Follow life as a crew member of the Rainbow Warrior III on the New Hands On Deck Facebook page or watch their web series, "Stories from the Rainbow Warrior". The first episode is titled "Getting On Board":