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Greenpeace activists quit Polar Pioneer protest

13th April 2015

The six climbers who intercepted, scaled, and set up camp on an Arctic-bound Shell oil drilling rig in the Pacific have come down after spending almost a week on the 38,000 tonne platform

The six climbers who intercepted, scaled, and set up camp on an Arctic-bound Shell oil drilling rig in the Pacific have come down after spending almost a week on the 38,000 tonne platform
Worsening weather conditions at sea, which could bring swells of up to seven metres, means the six left the rig before any ruling took place

The multi-national team of volunteers abseiled off the rig and into inflatable boats, before returning to the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which has been stationed close by for the last week.

They have camped on the Polar Pioneer for the last six days.

On Wednesday, Shell requested a temporary restraining order from a US federal court in Alaska to remove the six from the Polar Pioneer. The US does not have jurisdiction, Greenpeace has said, as the rig is in international waters. On Friday, a federal judge in Anchorage declined to rule immediately on Shell's request, saying she would make a decision in one or two days.

However, worsening weather conditions at sea, which could bring swells of up to seven metres, means the six left the rig before any ruling took place.

Aliyah Field, from the US, one of the six volunteers on the rig, said: “We are coming down today and it fills me with a wide range of emotions. This has been the single most proud, humbling, and inspiring experience of my life.  I am truly in awe of all the support and passion from around the world. A global movement has grown even stronger over the last days.

“I might be climbing off this oil rig, but this is merely a transition into the next step of saving the Arctic. I can't wait to join the millions of voices, the volunteers in Seattle, and all Americans who believe we deserve better, safer, cleaner forms of energy. My voice cannot be silenced, and neither can the millions of others taking a stand against Shell.”

The Polar Pioneer, which is being transported on a 712 feet (217 metres) long heavy-lift vessel called Blue Marlin, is one of two drilling vessels heading towards the Arctic for Shell this year.

Both the drilling vessels are crossing the Pacific and are expected to arrive in Seattle before heading to the Chukchi Sea. Shell intends to use the port of Seattle as a base for the company’s Arctic fleet.

 

 

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