Turkey, 22 April 2011 - Climbers from the environmental group Greenpeace are still occupying an huge oil rig which departed from Turkey early this morning bound for a dangerous deep drilling operation in the Arctic. Campaigners boarded the 53,000 tonne rig at dawn in a bid to stop it.
The Leiv Eiriksson is currently 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.
At 05.40 this morning the green activists used inflatable speed boats to intercept the rig shortly after it left a port near Istanbul. A number of the volunteer climbers scaled the vessel and unfurled a banner demanding “Stop Arctic destruction” they remain on board as the giant rig approaches Greek waters.
“It is inconceivable that Leiv Eiriksson’s operators, Cairn Energy, can recklessly plough on into the freezing waters of the Arctic with our climbers still on board. Our activists are safe and they’re not going anywhere. At some point Cairn will have to stop this rig. Until then our volunteers have supplies to last for days,” Greenpeace campaigner Ben Ayliffe.
“Our climbers are trying to protect one of the world's most precious natural environments from dangerous oil drilling. We are here to make it clear that 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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