30 years on: A new lease of life for the Rainbow Warrior

07.09.2015 08:56
Kategorie: News

Website is launched offering online tour of the wreck

Rainbow Warrior - © Kubikfoto
Thirty years ago, on 10 July 1985, an explosion ripped through the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship leading a peaceful protest against nuclear testing in the French Polynesia, causing the death of a photographer.

Today, the fallen warrior sits at the bottom of Matauri Bay. It has become an underwater refuge for corals, fishes, small animals and many other marine life. A website offering an online tour of the wreck has just been launched at www.rainbow-warrior.info/en. It also provides an interactive insight into the history of the wreck, with interviews, photos and videos.


Jean-Luc Kister, the French secret service agent who led the 12-men team in Auckland Harbor 30 years ago, has publicly admitted his involvement, and apologised for his actions.
"I have the blood of an innocent man on my conscience and that weighs on me," he told the French investigative website Mediapart.
He called the attack an unfair clandestine operation conducted in an allied, friendly and peaceful country, but added that "we had to obey, we were soldiers".

Bombs planted on ship

Rainbow Warrior - © Kubikfoto
In March 1985, plans were made for the Rainbow Warrior to travel to Rongelap and Mejato, before heading to Mururoa Atoll to protest the French nuclear testing there.

After a French agent obtained information of the protest, the French government initiated "Opération Satanique" — to sink the ship to prevent it from disrupting the nuclear testing.

On the evening of 10 July 1985, as the ship was docked at Auckland Harbour, on its way to the Pacific, French agents attached limpet mines to the hull and propeller shaft of the Rainbow Warrior. The first bomb exploded at 11.38pm, and the other one a while later, killing Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.

Rainbow Warrior - © Kubikfoto
France initially denied any responsibility, but to no avail, due to the overwhelming evidence.

In December 1987, the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior was sunk in Matauri Bay, to serve its final mission — as an underwater refuge and artificial reef for corals, sea anemones and fish. Today, in its final resting place, it has become a popular wreck to dive, and a symbol of peace and life.

Online Tour: www.rainbow-warrior.info/en
Info Link: www.greenpeace.de/../rainbow-warrior