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Greenpeace Vessel Rainbow Warrior Makes Stop in Seattle


The original Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, sailed the seas protecting seals and whales from hunters. The organization’s newest Rainbow Warrior has been docked along Seattle’s waterfront for the past few days as part of a West Coast tour.

The 2-year-old vessel is the third Rainbow Warrior. But it’s the first one Greenpeace had custom-made from stem to stern.

The ship is 190 feet long, or as Myriam Fallon with Greenpeace puts it, “the length of two blue whales.” It can handle a 32-person crew and comes complete with its own helicopter pad.

“We do a lot of campaigning against illegal fishing, so when the ship is out at sea, it can be hard to find the illegal fishing vessels. If you have a helicopter looking for them, it’s easier to stop the illegal fishing vessels easier. It can also be used for research,” Fallon said.

So far, this Rainbow Warrior hasn’t been used to come between any whaling ships and their prey. Fallon says these days, most of Greenpeace’s efforts to stop whale hunting by countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland are carried out on dry land through diplomacy.

While the Rainbow Warrior is on tour, the crew is spreading the word about one of the organization’s current top priorities: protecting deep canyons in the Bering Sea.

“It’s one of the most plentiful fisheries. We get 50 percent of our fish from the Bering Sea,” said Fallon.

The crew is also keeping the public apprised of what’s happening with Greenpeace’s other ship, the Arctic Sunrise. Thirty people who were on board remain in Russian custody after protesting an offshore oil-drilling rig being built in the Arctic.  

After it leaves Seattle, the Rainbow Warrior will head south for its next stop in Portland.

The first Rainbow Warrior was bombed by the French government in 1985 in an incident in which a photographer was killed. And the second was given to an aid organization which is using the old schooner as a hospital off the coast of Bangladesh.

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.