Turkey, 22 April 2011 - Climbers from the environmental group Greenpeace have been forced by bad weather to end a protest onboard the world’s second largest oil rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, which this morning left Turkey on a dangerous mission to drill for oil in the Arctic.
At dawn this morning volunteers from the international environmental organisation Greenpeace used inflatable speedboats to intercept the 53,000 tonne rig. Expert climbers then scaled the rig and unfurled a banner demanding: “Stop Arctic destruction.”
Having briefly halted the rigs progress, the climbers were prepared for a long occupation but a Force 7 gale forced an end to the protest early this evening while the rig was navigating the Dardanelles straits – a stretch of water that links the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea – as it makes its way towards the High North, and Greenland’s Baffin Bay.
“Cairn Energy would have liked nothing better than for this monster oil rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, to begin to drill in the arctic unhindered and unnoticed. Our climbers were trying to protect one of the world’s most precious natural environments from dangerous oil drilling. This rig can and must be stopped, before it is too late. There will be no cleaning up a Deepwater Horizon type spill in the Arctic,” said Greenpeace campaigner Ben Ayliffe.
“We have a choice. We can go beyond oil. Instead of investing trillions in dirty oil and environmental destruction we can invest it in ramping up the efficiency of vehicles, and rolling out new clean energy technologies.”
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