Greenpeace’s ‘Rainbow Warrior’ Makes Its Maiden Voyage to Mumbai
The ‘Rainbow Warrior’ reaches Mumbai’s shores to spread awareness about climate change.
After sailing the shores of Cuba, Brazil and Greece this year, the Rainbow Warrior has now reached Mumbai. The Greenpeace owned ship has sailed across the world for over four decades highlighting the importance of environmental conservation and this time it’s spending two weeks in India tackling the issue of climate change.
The Rainbow Warrior is here to acknowledge the fact that India stands poised to play a central role in the global collective to fight Climate Change. The Rainbow Warrior, through its constant pursuance of people centered campaigns, seeks to collaborate with communities and change makers from India, towards building a sustainable future.Rahul Prasad, spokesperson for Greenpeace India
For the three days that the ship will be docked in Mumbai, while prominent environmentalists, celebrities and the public will be visiting to learn more about the benefits of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture from the crew.
Along with a photo exhibition and photography workshop, Greenpeace members have also organised solar power and waste management workshops for visitors.
The Three Lives of the Rainbow Warrior
Over the years the Rainbow Warrior has actively campaigned to make people aware about plastic pollution, effects of climate change, need for sustainable agriculture and renewable energy, but it’s purpose is just as interesting as its history. Despite having been bombed, impounded and faced legal challenges, the the ship’s story is one of resilience.
Originally named ‘Sir William Hardy’, the ship was built in 1955 in the United Kingdom. It was used as a fishery research trawler by the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
In 1978, the Greenpeace NGO bought the ship which then formed a crew of 24 members from across 10 countries and set sail from the London docks on April 29 the same year. The first destination of the newly named Rainbow Warrior was Iceland on a mission to oppose commercial whaling. Even to this day, the Rainbow Warrior boasts of a multi cultural crew.
There are 17 core crew members on board and they are from close to 15 nationalities. This too keeps changing all the time as people keep coming and going but we are a very multi-cultural crew and end up becoming a big family because we are all after the same goals.Luis Vasquez, crew member of the Rainbow Warrior
Surviving Twin Explosions
In July 1985, when the ship was docked in Auckland, New Zealand while on its way to protest a nuclear test by France, two bomb blasts ripped through the Rainbow Warrior, killing photographer Fernando Pereira who was onboard during the explosion.
While a commission formed to investigate into the blasts cleared the French Government of any wrongdoing, eventually French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admitted the French involvement in the bombing. This led to the resignation of the then Defence Minister of France and the agents involved were sent to jail.
With the ship almost completely destroyed, parts that were still intact were salvaged and added while constructing a new ship with the compensation of 8 million US Dollars that Greenpeace received from the Government of France.
In 1989, Greenpeace bought the second Rainbow Warrior that served for 22 years and retired in 2011. It was then transformed into a medical ship for a Bangladesh based NGO and renamed ‘Rongdhonu’. The Rainbow Warrior-II was then replaced by the present ship, Rainbow Warrior- III which is technologically superior.
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