In the second protest against Artic exploration this week, Greenpeace activists boarded the icebreaker Nordica forcing Swedish authorities to tow the vessel back to land.
By Mark Lowe, Maritime Security Review
Six Greenpeace activists were arrested by Swedish police on Thursday after having boarded an icebreaker off Sweden’s southeast coast in protest to oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters.
The action was the second of its kind in less than a week and forced the authorities to tow the ship, the Nordica, back to land.
The Greenpeace activists approached the Shell Oil contracted vessel in small boats and climbing onto it. It is reported that some members of the group themselves to the vessel.
According to a police statement “The arrests were made in a calm manner and the environmental activists were then transported in to land.” The activists were arrested on the accusation of trespassing.
Greenpeace has called on Shell to abandon plans to open up the waters off the Alaskan coast for oil drilling. The environmental group is concerned that an oil spill would be disastrous and impossible to clean up due to extreme weather conditions in the region.
Two days earlier Greenpeace activists staged a similar action as the ship was due to depart from Finland. Greenpeace say that the action delayed the Nordica’s departure by 10 hours.
The Nordica is heading to Alaska to join its sister ship, the Fennica, to support the Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, the two drillships that are en route to the north coast of Alaska to drill five exploratory wells for Shell in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.
Regarding yesterdays’ actions, Greenpeace have stated that “Nordic activists today intercepted at open sea and boarded a Shell-contracted icebreaker, the Nordica, to continue its protest against the oil major’s destructive plans to start drilling in the pristine Arctic region. Just two days ago, dozens of activists had already occupied that same ship in harbour in Finland prior to its departure.”
Greenpeace intend to continue the campaign.