In the last week of May, I had the chance to see the progress of the construction of the Rainbow Warrior III, in a shipyard located near Bremen, in Germany. I was along with Tim Adams, a journalist from The Observer who wrote an article today about our new flagship.
There we met William Sykes, a funny and energetic Scottish engineer who’s a fan of Glasgow Rangers and the construction manager of our new Warrior. He took us through the ship, where more than 100 people have been working very hard to build the world’s first custom-built campaigning vessel.
An avant-garde campaigning platform
The new features of the ship are amazing. For someone like me, who has sailed on our current (and rusty) Warrior, for several campaigns over the years, seeing the new Warrior is like a dream. There is even a highly secured room where we can continue to send out media releases and images no matter who storms the ship to stop a protest or a direct action!
The more William tells us about the Warrior’s new features the more excited I am. “You look like a boy with a new toy”, says Tim to me. I didn’t realize it was that obvious! But, really… if you see inside the ship, you know you’re in campaigner’s heaven.
As the ultimate campaigning vessel, she will have great campaign office, a specialized media room able to transmit images of environmental crimes to the world’s media in minutes, using high speed broadband internet access and the latest version of SATCOM. Her video and photo equipment will enable us to bear witness and share these experiences with all of you. The Warrior’s helicopter landing pad will carry a helicopter - our ‘eye in the sky’, capable of tracking illegal fishing operations, illegal shipments of timber and toxic cargo from miles away. Her two rigid hull inflatable boats will carry activists in minutes to take direct action to stop environmental crime in some of the most remote parts of the world.
The Rainbow Warrior III is built to sail, using wind energy instead of fossil fuels, with the option in unsuitable weather conditions to switch over to diesel-engine-powered, electric propulsion. The A-frame design of the mast and the positioning of the sails have been optimised for efficiency and the shape of the hull has been designed for maximum fuel conservation.
William is very proud of the work done so far. “It’s a very special project for me, her predecessors carry a history of principles and a commitment and desire for a green future, so the Rainbow Warrior III will take on that legacy to keep the fight going”, he says.
At 57.92 metres in length, the new Rainbow Warrior will allow for more efficiency and higher reliability: very low fuel consumption due to hull shape, very good sailing characteristics to save on fuel, environmentally friendly silicon based paint system, re-use of engine heat for hot water generation and engine pre-heating, biological treatment of black and grey water, and many other innovative green features.
She will be registered as a ‘Motor Sailor Yacht’, endorsed to operate by the Dutch flag state authorities and will be certified and classified to the highest standards by Germanischer Lloyd, one of the worlds leading classification societies. The GL classification will ensure she fulfills all requirements for her class to the highest standard, and she will also be voluntarily registered with green ship class notation and a ‘Green passport’ meaning she fulfills the highest environmental standards.
My first time with the Rainbow Warrior
I remember when I saw the Rainbow Warrior II in 1992, in Argentina for the first time. I was in high school and I was insprired when I saw her taking action against the nuclear plant Atucha, a reactor built during the military dictatorship with technology provided by the German company Siemens.
Being in Germany, almost 20 years later, to see the construction of the new Warrior, seems like a paradox. But on my train back to Amsterdam I see people with the “Nuclear, no thanks” banners on the streets and I feel that there’s no better place now to build the heir of the ship that woke up the world to the disasters of the nuclear arms race and inspired millions of people to fight, with hope for a better future.
Help us build the Rainbow Warrior. We still urgently need your support in order to get her finished by October this year. Buy a virtual piece of the new ship, get your certificate of “ownership” and get your name onboard a specially designed dedication wall which will be built on the new Warrior.
Simply visit www.greenpeace.org/anewwarrior