Greenpeace begins construction of new Rainbow Warrior, marking 25th anniversary of bombing

Press release - 10 July, 2010
Gdansk, Poland, 10 JULY 2010 -- Twenty-five years after two bombs planted by French secret agents sank the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour, New Zealand - murdering photographer and father of two, Fernando Pereira - Greenpeace commemorated the anniversary by beginning the construction of a new, low-carbon, Rainbow Warrior.

It will be the world's first purpose-built, environmentally-advanced, campaigning vessel. The keel laying ceremony will take place today at the Maritim Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. 

“When the original Rainbow Warrior was bombed the threat of nuclear war represented our worst nightmare, and concern over climate change was just beginning. Now, it is well understood that hundreds of thousands of people are already dying as a result of the impacts of climate change,” said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director. “The new Rainbow Warrior will play a vital role in our campaign for action to avert catastrophic climate change".

“Since setting sail in 1978 the Rainbow Warrior has been on the frontline of the struggle against environmental abuse. She is an icon of non-violent direct action and a beacon of hope for millions of people around the world. More than ever the world needs hope, it needs action, it needs a Rainbow Warrior,” added Naidoo.

Both the first and second Rainbow Warriors were converted trawling vessels, the new Rainbow Warrior will be the first purpose built ship in the Greenpeace fleet. Designed as a sailing ship, her striking A-frame masts will rise 54m above the water, helping Greenpeace reduce its carbon footprint and serve as an example to others of smart environmental investment.

Among other exciting design features is the built-in satellite uplink, which will have a 24/7 broadband connection, providing the world with incredible access, images and contact with the crew as the ship carries out her missions. It will also allow many millions of people to join as virtual rainbow warriors. Specially designed cranes will allow for the rapid deployment of inflatables - a key tool in confronting environmental abuse. The ship will set sail next year, in time for the 40th anniversary of the founding of Greenpeace.

As part of the keel laying ceremony, Pete Willcox, who was the Rainbow Warrior captain on the night she was bombed, laid a wreath in memory of Fernando Pereira: “One of the principles of Greenpeace, one of the things that makes us so strong and special, is that we are non-violent. Fernando did not have to die; he was a threat to no one. We will never forget him. I hope the generations of activists who sail on the new ship will be as determined and as exceptional and as inspired as he was."

“Today, 25 years after the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, the message is clear,” concluded Naidoo, “You can’t sink a rainbow.’

 

For further information contact:

  • Dietlind Lerner, Greenpeace Organisational Communications Manager,  / +31 646162026
  • Lucy Campbell Jackson, Greenpeace Video Producer,  / +31 634738790
  • John Novis, International Photo Desk,   / +44 7801 615889
  • For archive images of the first and second Rainbow Warrior ships go to: http://photo.greenpeace.org/GPI/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&ALID=27MZIFI69UCY&CT=Album
  • For graphics of the new Rainbow Warrior go to: http://photo.greenpeace.org/GPI/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&STID=27MZIFLHZQ2C&IT=ThumbImage01_VForm&CT=Story

Notes:

  • Experience the sensation of sailing the new Rainbow Warrior with Ship Simulator Extremes at www.shipsim.com
  • For more information about the voyages of the first two Rainbow Warrior and construction of the third go to www.greenpeace.org/rainbowwarrior
  • For more information on the bombing and its aftermath go to http://www.greenpeace.org/international/rainbow-warrior-bombing/
  • The Rainbow Warrior prophecy was contained in a book given to Greenpeace founder Bob Hunter. One version reads “There will come a time when the Earth grows sick and when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the world who believe in deeds and not words. They will work to heal it ... they will be known as the "Warriors of the Rainbow."

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