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Rainbow Warrior


 rainbow warrior


rainbow warrior damaged-thumb engineroom rainbow warrior damage-thumb rainbow warrior-wreck-thumb



The rainbow Warrior was flagship of Greenpeace, the ship was originally built in 1955 as the fisheries research trawler sir William Hardy, weiging in at 418 tonnes and 127 feet in length Greenpeace purchased the rusting vessel in 1978 with help from the world wildlife fund.

The ship was repainted in green and white livery with rainbow patterns and a dove of peace carrying an olive branch, rainbow Warrior embarked on her first voyage on 29 April 1978 with a international crew of 24, her first mission was to oppose the commercial whaling programme in Iceland.

In the latter part of 1981 rainbow Warriors diesel engine was rebuilt then in 1985 the ship was equipped with sails later that same year rainbow Warrior was due to lead peace flotilla from New Zealand to moruroa to oppose French nuclear weapons testing whilst the ship had been docked in Auckland and was open to the public French agents posing as tourists boarded the ship to gather information, later two divers operating under the direction of the French Ministry of Defence attached to limpet mines to the hull of the ship the first bomb exploded 11:38 PM creating a large hole in the vessel it was intended by the saboteurs for the second bomb to explode 10 minutes later giving time for the ship to be safely evacuated unfortunately the crew of the rainbow Warrior did not react as the saboteurs expected with some members returning to the ship to inspect the damage, Fernando Pereira a photographer of Portuguese-Dutch nationality returned below decks to retrieve camera equipment, the second bomb exploded at 11:45 PM Fernando Pereira was trapped below decks and drowned, other members of the crew still on board managed to escape and the rainbow Warrior sank a few minutes later.

In 1986 a political deal was reached presided over by the United Nations that France would apologise and pay New Zealand $13 million, a further $8.16 million was paid by the French government to Greenpeace in 1987.

After refloating the rainbow Warrior she was deemed to be un-repairable and it was decided the ship would be scuttled near the Cavalli Islands to serve as a fish sanctuary and dive wreck, a memorial inscription was welded onto metal on the ship, " go in peace rainbow Warrior" and the ship was scuttled on 12 December 1987 at the coordinates 34.9748°S 173.9349°E.



Video's  of  Rainbow Warrior Wreck Site and News report about the Bombing





Ship Specifications



  • Size:Small
  • Type :Trawler
  • Length: 131 feet
  • Beam: 27 feet
  • Tonnage: 418
  • Speed: 12 knots (engines)
  • Crew: 11 at the time of her sinking
  • Current status: Scuttled in 1987 to become an artificial reef for marine life, the wreck lies upright on the sea bed at a depth of 85 feet near the Cavalli Islands, New Zealand.

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