Launching the Rainbow Warrior III
In July 1985, Greenpeace’s converted fishing trawler ‘The Rainbow Warrior’ was on its way to Moruroa, French Polynesia, in the Pacific Ocean – an area that had suffered nuclear testing at the hands of the French since 1962. Greenpeace sailed The Rainbow Warrior to the island in order to bear witness to the ecological destruction of nuclear testing first-hand. Residents of the neighbouring Marshall Islands had already been relocated by Greenpeace, having been blighted by cancer, leukaemia and birth defects.
The mere presence of Greenpeace and their intention to expose the effects of nuclear testing posed such a threat that the French Government felt it necessary to take action; they did so by ordering the French Secret Service to bomb The Rainbow Warrior.
“You can’t sink a rainbow”
The bombing caused worldwide outrage, not least because tragically one crew member was killed. When the truth was revealed, the French Minister for Defence was forced to resign and the United Nations stepped in. The Rainbow Warrior became an icon – a symbol not only of Greenpeace, but of the power of protest. The slogan “You Can’t Sink A Rainbow” was coined.
26 years later, while the original Rainbow Warrior lies at the bottom of the Pacific slowly turning into a living reef, and it’s successor the Rainbow Warrior II has been retired to serve as a hospital ship in Bangladesh, a new, purpose built Rainbow Warrior III is about to be revealed.
Designed with sustainability in mind, the Rainbow Warrior III is the most environmentally advanced ship of its size, and it represents the realisation of a dream come true for many of Greenpeace’s seafaring crew. The 60m long boat is powered primarily by sails hoisted onto two 50ft masts, switching to a state-of-the-art hybrid engine when needed. Every component from materials to paint and insulation has been sourced ethically and cupboards will be stocked with Daily products enabling crew to wash, wipe, scour and scrub with minimal impact on the environment. Thanks to the latest technology, the boat has the ability to drop speedboats from its sides in record time for a quick approach or getaway. A helicopter pad can be created above deck, and the vessel features a radio room built with reinforced doors that will allow a further 30 minutes transmission time should the vessel be boarded by anyone wishing to disrupt proceedings. Clearly, The Rainbow Warrior III is a boat that means business.