A new Warrior sets sail

Feature Story - 14 October, 2011
Greenpeace was born on the ocean. From our first campaign to stop a nuclear weapons test in the Aleutian islands, Greenpeace has sailed the sea – most often in old, rusting, borrowed, or repurposed ships – putting vessels in front of harpoons to save whales, stopping barrels of toxic and radioactive waste from being dumped at sea, or blocking shipments of illegal timber from rainforests across the globe.

The Greenpeace fleet is more than just our trademark; it is an essential campaigning tool. Approximately 70% of our planet is covered by water - our Greenpeace ships let us take our various campaigns to the two thirds of the planet other organisations do not normally reach. They provide the best access for us to bear witness to some of the most striking examples of climate change and environmental crime.

A new Warrior sets sail

The new Rainbow Warrior, the third to bear the name, was launched at a small ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany. The 58-metre-long, state-of-the-art ship is the Greenpeace fleet’s first purpose-built vessel, custom-designed and built from scratch. Boasting a host of eco-friendly features, every detail was crafted with sustainability in mind, from the silicon-based paint on her hull to the FSC wood of her cabins, to the onboard recycling systems and biological sewage treatment.

The main difference between the new and old is that the Rainbow Warrior III is a sailing vessel, meaning she’s much more fuel-efficient. The revolutionary A-frame sails allow her to radically cut her carbon footprint as she journeys around the world. There is the option in unsuitable weather conditions to switch over to efficient diesel-electric power.

Despite a proud history of victories, and 40 years of winning environmental battles, today we face the greatest environmental challenge humanity has ever faced: unsustainable patterns of consumption and global energy use that are plundering our resources and changing our climate.

Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director, said at the ceremony: “The new Rainbow Warrior is the perfect ship with which to navigate the perfect storm of ecological, economic and democratic crises lashing our world.”

“Carrying an international crew, the Rainbow Warrior will confront environmental criminals across the world, she will investigate and expose destructive activities, but perhaps most of all will provide a beacon of hope and an inspiration to action wherever she goes.

“If you’ve not yet been a part of the journey of building the Rainbow Warrior, please come onboard and be part of her voyage. The world needs another warrior: you.”

>> Find out more about the Rainbow Warrior I and Rainbow Warrior II.