Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior


Rainbow Warrior

Rainbow Warrior was a former UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) trawler called the Sir William Hardy.  It was built in 1955, in Aberdeen, Scotland.

She served until 1977 when she was put up for sale by the Ministry.  She was purchased by the environmental organization Greenpeace UK.  The ship was re-launched on 2 May 1978 as Rainbow Warrior.

The ship was active in supporting a number of Greenpeace whaling, seal hunting, nuclear testing and nuclear waste dumping campaigns during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Rainbow Warrior was sabotaged and sunk whilst in Auckland harbour, just before midnight on 10 July 1985, by two explosive devices attached to the hull by operatives of the French intelligence service (DGSE).

One of the twelve people on board, photographer Fernando Pereira, returned to the ship after the first explosion to attempt to retrieve his equipment, and was killed when the ship was sunk by the second, larger explosion.

The wreck of the Rainbow Warrior was refloated on 21 August 1985 , but was too damaged and the vessel was scuttled in Matauri Bay in the Cavalli Islands, New Zealand, on 12 December 1987, to serve as a dive wreck and artificial reef to promote marine life.

The hull is now covered with a large colony of vari-coloured sea anemones.  The masts were salvaged and now stand outside the Dargaville Museum.

Source: Wikipedia


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