GREENPEACE’s occupation of the drilling Ship Stena Carron, off Shetland, came to an end on Saturday afternoon, when the bright yellow survival pod hanging from the vessel’s anchor chain was removed by the campaigners.
The eco warriors claimed that their five day protest had been a huge success despite a court order that forced an end to the direct action.
They had started their protest on Tuesday morning as part of their campaign against deep water drilling for oil which, they claim, should be banned as a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Saturday afternoon, activists from Greenpeace’s support vessel Esperanza removed the pod, weighing half a tonne, once the two activists inside it had climbed down the Stena Carron’s anchor chain.
They then used a dinghy to tow the pod back to the Esperanza.
Oil company Chevron had been granted an interdict on Friday afternoon threatening the protesters with huge fines or custodial sentences should they not end their protest.
On Saturday, police officers watched as members of the environmental pressure group reported the all clear to the master of the Stena Carron at around 3.45 pm. There were no arrests.
Speaking afterwards, Leila Deen, one of the Greenpeace protesters, said the protest on the Stena Carron’s anchor chain was over but the campaign against deepwater drilling would continue.
“We are definitely continuing our legal action against the government, and the Esperanza will also continue the campaign but at the moment it is not clear where we are going next.
“The protest here in Shetland has been a huge success. We managed to stay on the anchor chain for 100 hours, which is probably Greenpeace’s longest ‘in-position occupation’.
“We made our point and we have managed to draw global attention to the fact that deepwater drilling is happening.”
The Stena Carron left its position off the north of Bressay last night and headed for the waters to the northwest of Shetland with the Esperanza following her.
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