Full Steam Ahead on Construction of New Rainbow Warrior

Five months after start of construction, the finished hull of Greenpeace’s new Rainbow Warrior is being transported November 16  from the Maritim Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland to the Fassmer Shipyard in Bremen, Germany. Towage by tug boat of the 340 tonne hull, measuring 57,92m long x 11,30m wide, will take approximately 2 days.

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“Now more than ever – as the threat of irreversible climate change looms and governments appear unwilling to make necessary changes – it is the duty of all of us to protect our planet for generations to come” said Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

“The new Rainbow Warrior will play a vital role in our campaigns to stop global warming and establish climate justice. She will lead a fleet that allows us bear witness to environmental crimes as they are being carried out, take part in non-violent direct actions and block shipments of hazardous materials like nuclear waste and illegal drivers of climate change (including timber, oil, palm oil and coal)”.

The new Rainbow Warrior will be the first purpose built vessel in the Greenpeace International fleet. She is designed to be a sailing ship thus using wind energy instead of fossil fuel, but with the option in unsuitable weather conditions to switch over to engine-powered, diesel-electric propulsion.

Her striking A-frame mast design, which will rise 55m above the water, as well as the positioning of the sails has been optimised for efficiency and the shape of the hull has been designed for maximum fuel conservation. She will be fast and flexible (to follow nuclear transport, illegal fishing vessels or whaling ships) and solid enough to travel globally to document climate change phenomena.

Among other exciting design features is the built-in satellite uplink, which will provide a 24/7 broadband connection, providing the world with incredible access, images and contact with the crew as the ship continues her mission. This also allows many millions of people to join as virtual rainbow warriors. Specially designed A-frame davits will allow for the rapid deployment of inflatables – a key tool in confronting environmental abuse.

“By taking advantage of the latest in green technology and maximizing our use of clean, abundant wind energy, the new Rainbow Warrior will help us reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining our strength as a leading force in environmental protection. Hopefully our investment in clean energy will inspire others to do the same” Naidoo added.

The new vessel will be the third to carry the name Rainbow Warrior, which was inspired by a prophecy of the Crea Indians: “There will come a time when the Earth grows sick and when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the world who believe in deeds and not words. They will work to heal it … they will be known as the “Warriors of the Rainbow.” The original Rainbow Warrior was destroyed in 1985 with a bomb planted by agents working for the French government – photographer and father of two, Fernando Pereira was killed. The second Rainbow Warrior, converted trawler like the first, will reach her decommissioning date this summer.

The ship’s masts will be constructed at the Rondal yard in Vollenhove, the Netherlands and transported to Germany in the Spring. The remaining construction will be carried out on the Fassmer premises and is scheduled to be completed on 14 October 2011 in time for the environmental organisation’s 40th anniversary in the fall of 2011. Fundraising for the € 23.2 million project is still underway.