GREENPEACE’S RAINBOW WARRIOR Protecting the environment

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Posted on Aug 07 2000

After five days of visit on the island, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior leaves Saipan today for Australia.

Formerly a fishing vessel, the Rainbow Warrior has sailed across the globe in support of people’s struggle to protect their environment. Last Saturday, Greenpeace welcomed residents to a tour of the historic vessel manned by 14 crew members.

The first Rainbow Warrior sunk at its moorings at Marsden Wharf when its was bombed by French agents on July 10, 1985. The vessel was on its way to Moruroa to protest the nuclear testing being carried out by the French military at that time. The bombing of Rainbow Warrior led to the death of a crew member, photographer Fernando Pereira.

A three-member international tribunal from Switzerland, France and New Zealand awarded Greenpeace $8 million in compensation against the French government for the bombing of Rainbow Warrior.

On December 27, 1987, the Rainbow Warrior was sunk off the Cavali Islands near Whangaroa in Northland, New Zealand with the blessing of the Maori people of Matauri Bay. The hull became a diving wreck, an artificial reef inhabited by marine life.

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