Five hours later, the situation remains the same. The ship continues to move forward and we continue to follow it. The activists on board are safe and sound, and we are continuously checking on them, waving from the safety rhib (rigid hull inflatable boat) to show we are right behind them! They have become friendly with the crew and the crew even invited them inside to escape the harsh sun. They have enough food, medicines and water. Gaurav is the expert on board who is carrying a tent to pitch in for the night.
Watch this amazing video to see how the activists bravely boarded the ship-
The only incident that happened was that we got a call from the Australian Coast Guard asking us, “What do you want us do?” We said, “We took this action to stop coal exports and stop climate change, now its upto you!”
As of now it is unclear as to what will happen. We are speeding up behind Meister at about 12-13 knots, the fastest I have seen the Rainbow Warrior navigate. The news has spread all over Australia and many eminent scientists and citizens have come out in support of the action. Leading Australian climate scientist, Professor Matthew England said:
“This action by Greenpeace draws attention to the role of our coal exports in contributing to ongoing global warming. It's vital that the world moves away from coal-based energy to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. This means Australia has to urgently rethink any expansion in our coal exports.”
On the other hand, Queensland Mineral Council (which looks at coal exports in Queensland state, Australia) hurled false allegations that Greenpeace activists boarded the ship when it was anchored and in the Great Barrier Reef Area! We actually boarded the ship on the outer rim of the Great Barrier Reef, ensuring that we were not affecting the reef at all in any way.
Meanwhile, we are responding to media calls, ensuring that we continue the vigil and witness the activity through photo and video. The activists have a phone with them, and it has been continuously ringing! They keep charging the phone with a small portable solar charger.
The ship now is close to Papua New Guinea islands and by dawn we will be out of Australian waters.