GREEN PEACE SHIPS

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The Greenpeace fleet of ships plays an important role within the organisation. They are used at the forefront of Greenpeace campaigning, often sailing to remote areas to bear witness and take action against environmental destruction.

 

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The Motor Vessel Esperanza
Launched in February 2002, the Esperanza is the latest and largest vessel in the Greenpeace fleet, replacing the now retired MV Greenpeace. Esperanza (Spanish for "hope") is the first Greenpeace ship to be named by visitors to our web site.

The ship is the fourth of 14 fire-fighting vessels ordered by the Russian government between 1983 and 1987 from Stocznia Polnocna construction yard in Gdansk, Poland. Heavy ice class and speed were one of the requirements.

 

The Sailing Vessel Rainbow Warrior
The SV Rainbow Warrior is perhaps the most famous Greenpeace ship due to its predecessor sinking in New Zealand in 1985 after a French Secret Service agent planted two bombs on the ship.

The ship's name was inspired by a North American Indian prophecy that influenced the crew on board the Phyllis Cormack, during the first Greenpeace voyage.

 

The Motor Vessel Arctic Sunrise
Ironically, before Greenpeace owned the MV Arctic Sunrise it was once a sealing vessel. Greenpeace also had previously confronted the ship while it was delivering equipment for the French government to build an airstrip through a penguin habitat in the Antarctic.

Despite this, Greenpeace bought the Arctic Sunrise in 1995 using a company called Arctic Sunrise Ventures Ltd, since the ship's Norwegian owners would never sell it to Greenpeace.

 

The Motor Vessel Argus
The Argus is Greenpeace's smallest motor-ship and mostly works in the Rotterdam (the Netherlands) harbour or along the North sea coast.

In Greek mythology Argus is a giant man with eyes all over his body so he can watch everything very closely. This is symbolic of the Greenpeace Argus ship, which closely monitors pollution.

 

The Greenpeace balloon
The Greenpeace balloon can carry three people, a pilot + two passengers, usually a campaigner and photographer or parachutist. Three more people are needed to form the ground crew.   Historic Greenpeace balloon flights include flights over the Berlin wall in 1983, over the US Nevada nuclear test site in 1987 and over the Taj Mahal during the nuclear testing protest in India in 1998.

 

 

MORE ABOUT THE GREENPEACE BALLOON


The balloon can only be launched in low winds (up to 10 knots).  In many parts of the world, this means it can only be flown two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset.  This is because during the day the sun heats up the atmosphere and creates thermals that make balloon flying dangerous.  In winter months, when the sun's heat is less powerful, there is a better chance of making daytime flights.   The balloon can stay airborne for a maximum of two hours in normal conditions (a cool temperature under 2000 metres above sea level). 

 

There are two types of balloon flight - free or tethered.  During free flights, once launched the balloon is carried in the general direction of the wind.  The pilot can steer the balloon to an extent by taking advantage of different wind directions at higher and lower altitudes.  For tethered flights the wind speed must be less than for free flights (about 8 knots maximum), because the balloon is in effect resisting the wind and the hot air could be blown out of it, causing it to sink rapidly.

 

 

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