The six activists scaled the rig, being carried on the 217 m long heavy lift vessel Blue Marlin, following a 5,000nm pursuit in Greenpeace vessel Esperanza, and set up camp on underside of the main deck, along with supplies that will last “several days”.
From there, the group plans to unfurl a banner containing names of millions of people opposed to oil drilling in the Arctic.
“We’re here to highlight that in less than 100 days Shell is going to the Arctic to drill for oil,” said one of the six activists, Johno Smith from New Zealand. “This pristine environment needs protecting for future generations and all life that will call it home. But instead Shell’s actions are exploiting the melting ice to increase a manmade disaster. Climate change is real and already inflicting pain and suffering on my brothers and sisters in the Pacific.
“I believe that shining a light on what Shell is doing will encourage more people to take a strong stand against them and other companies who are seeking to destroy this planet for profit. I’m just one voice out here, but I know I’m not alone, and millions if not billions of voices demanding the right to safe and healthy lives will have a huge chance of changing things.”
Set to begin drilling in 100 days, the Polar Pioneer is heading across the Pacific toward Seattle before heading for the Arctic in April. It is expected to be followed by a second Shell rig, Noble Discoverer, by the end of the year, after the US Department of Interior approved Shell’s drilling lease for the Chukchi Sea.
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