Greenpeace leaves Shell’s Arctic-bound rig

Greenpeace leaves Shell's Arctic-bound rigSix Greenpeace activists disembarked from Shell’s Arctic-bound oil rig in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, April 11, 2015, after spending six days camping on the structure to protest against Arctic drilling. 

The multi-national team of six people, Greenpeace activists, climbed aboard the Polar Pioneer drilling rig on Monday, April 6, 2015. The rig is being transported on a heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin and it is on its way to drill for Shell in Chukchi sea, offshore Alaska. The rig is expected to arrive in Seattle in middle April before heading to the Chukchi sea.

On Wednesday, Shell filed a complaint to a federal court in Alaska asking to remove the activists from the rig.

According to Greenpeace, they 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. The environmental organisation says that the activists left the rig due to worsening weather conditions at sea, which could bring swells of up to seven metres and jeopardise their safe return to their ship.

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.”

Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, said: “I am so inspired and impressed by the volunteers’ decision to climb Shell’s drill rig. I hope everyone who sees what they did are inspired to take action in their own way, to help save the Arctic.

“It’s astounding that Shell seems to think it has the right to jeopardize our environment and our economy, without being accountable to society. I thank the climbers for being society’s eyes and ears on Shell’s rig, letting them know that millions of us are watching their every move, because there is simply no such a thing as ‘safe’ drilling in the Arctic.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff; Image: Greenpeace

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