Greenpeace launches Rainbow Warrior III
Greenpeace launched its latest weapon in the fight against environmental destruction Friday -- a multi-million-euro purpose-built campaign ship named Rainbow Warrior III.
The ship carries state-of-the-art communications equipment, two fast boats and can carry a helicopter, said the pressure group, unveiling the vessel to mark its 40th anniversary.
"The new Rainbow Warrior is the perfect ship with which to navigate the perfect storm of ecological, economic and democratic crises lashing our world," said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International.
The original Rainbow Warrior, a converted fishing trawler, was sunk by French agents in New Zealand in 1985 while attempting to stop France's nuclear testing in the Pacific.
The second was more than 50 years old when it was retired after being "rammed, raided and bombed" in numerous campaigns against nuclear testing, over-fishing and illegal logging, Greenpeace said.
The new 58-metre (190-foot) Rainbow Warrior III is the first to be built from scratch to the group's own specifications.
It "will confront environmental criminals across the world, investigate and expose destructive activities, but perhaps most of all will provide a beacon of hope and an inspiration to action wherever she goes," said Naidoo.
Moreover, practising what it preaches, Greenpeace said Rainbow Warrior III carries a vast sail to keep the carbon footprint to a minimum and "making her one of the most environmentally friendly vessels of her class."
The ship was constructed at the 161-year-old German shipyard Fassmer, with more than 100,000 individual donations contributing to the estimated 23 million euros (32 million dollars) needed for the construction work.
© 2011 AFP