Six Volunteers Scale Shell’s Oil Rig

by Haley Rabic

April 7, 2015

Greenpeace activists hold a banner that reads 'The People vs. Shell' as they scaled the Polar Pioneer drill rig in the Pacific Ocean. Six Greenpeace climbers have intercepted an Arctic-bound Shell oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 750 miles north-west of Hawaii and have scaled the 38,000 tonne platform. At dawn this morning, the six, from the USA, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Austria, sped towards the Polar Pioneer, which Shell intends to use to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea, in inflatable boats launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza.

© Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace

Yesterday morning, things changed drastically for six volunteers aboard the Greenpeace ship the Esperanza. They boarded Shells oil rig, the Polar Pioneer, on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean.

The volunteers, Aliyah, Zoe, Johno, Miriam, Adreas, and Jens, have been following Shell across the Pacific Ocean for weeks.


At dawn the six volunteers suited up.


They deployed a few inflatable boats to move closer to the Polar Pioneer.

About to deploy

And then, one-by-one, the volunteers made the jump.

Zoe leaps up the rope (1)


They held on for dear life as they swung across the water.

GIF1 (1)

And then they began to ascend.

Johno shows courage

Andreas was the first to make the climb.

Andreas Climbing

Each volunteer extended helping hands to those coming up behind them.

Climbing onto boat

And then they continued to climb in search of a safe spot to set up camp.

climbing ladder (1)

Once all six volunteers landed on the rig, they held up a banner that expressed their mission, The People vs Shell.

Save the Arctic (1)

The volunteers have enough supplies to stay on the rig for days, and they plan on exposing Shell to the world. I think we can all agree that this is an incredible act of courage.

Tell us what courage means to you, and dont forget to follow the entire journey as it unfolds!

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