Return of the Warrior

The 1985 bombing of the Rainbow Warrior made the converted fishing trawler a campaigning icon. Now, in its 4th anniversary year, Greenpeace is launching its first purpose-built protest ship — one of the most technologically advanced vessels to set sail. In a German hangar at the yard of Fassmer on the banks of the River Weser, however, a different kind of £16m dream boat is taking shape. It is a dream that began more than 25 years ago, when Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior was sunk in Auckland Harbour by bombs planted by the French secret service. The determination then, from environmental activists across the globe, was that “you can’t sink a Rainbow”. The story quickly became a defining legend, not just of Greenpeace but of environmental activism in general. David Edward, a Yorkshireman who was engineer on the boat in 1985 says: “For me, it’s the closing of a circle. When we were in New Zealand with the old Warrior, after the bombing, I would go round schools and kids would hand me pocket money to help us build a new ship. I like to think that that money has finally helped to pay for this new boat.”

Tags: Greenpeace  Guardian (The)  Rainbow Warrior