Sailing for our nuclear free future

Feature story - 13 September, 2002
As two British nuclear freighters near the Irish Sea with their deadly cargo of weapons-usable plutonium, a flotilla of small sailboats are getting into position to peacefully protest their passage.

Jim Corr of Irish pop group the Corrs, takes the helm of a Greenpeace inflatable while lending his support to the Nucelar Free Seas Flottila.

The Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, is also in the Irish Sea to support the flotilla. Together they will ensure that the passage of this deadly and dangerous shipment will get as much global attention as possible.

We wish the UK and Japanese governments had enough integrity and backbone not to put people around the world in danger by shipping weapons usable-plutonium past their coasts. The huge groundswell of protest from 80 en-route governments, many thousands of individuals and seafarers wishing to stop their oceans becoming nuclear highways, has so far fallen on deaf ears. The upcoming peaceful protest in the Irish Sea will perhaps be the one that breaks the silence and elicits the response that we all want; cancel all further shipments, phase out nuclear power and invest in clean, safe energy.

The purpose of the Nuclear Free Irish Sea Flotilla is to make sure this shipment does not pass unnoticed - to hopefully raise enough of a ruckus to make this the last shipment and to get the Sellafield nuclear plant shut down. As the nuclear ships approach and the flotilla and the Rainbow Warrior have been readying themselves for action, there has been an amazing outpouring of support from the Irish government and people. The Irish navy will be sending a patrol boat to monitor the shipment, and the Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, made a surprise visit to the Rainbow Warrior on Wednesday to express his support and admiration for the members of the flotilla.

Skipper Cormac Kavanagh explained his motivation for joining the flotilla, "What else can we do? We would all prefer not to have to do this, but what would we say to our children if the worst came to the worst? I just could not say 'I didn't care enough to take action',"

We owe the people who care enough, like Cormac, to take action, a huge debt. The nuclear industry has been flying in the face of global protest against their activities for long enough - it is now time for us to make them listen.

Please join us by witnessing the passage of the nuclear titanics

If you can't beg, borrow or steal a boat to join the flotilla you can join our virtual flotilla.