Activists Detained while Trying to Block Polar Pioneer

A group of Greenpeace activists trying to block the departure of Shell’s drilling rig Polar Pioneer from Seattle to Alaska have been detained today in Elliot Bay, Greenpeace said.

According to the report, the detained group of ten people includes Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien.

Up to 50 ShellNo Kayaktivists launched into Elliot Bay as the rig was readying to move out early this morning. The rig started moving at around 6 a.m. Monday.

Thirteen activists in kayaks have intercepted the Polar Pioneer. The Greenpeace US activists have secured themselves together to block the Polar Pioneer’s departure while additional activists join the protests on the water nearby, Greenpeace said in a release today.

The US Coast Guard is helping the rig clear the path as they tow the vessel out of the Bay.

 “Shell wants to haul its 40,000 ton Arctic destroyer to Alaska as soon as possible, but these courageous individuals are saying, ‘Shell No.’ Every minute that brave protesters can delay Shell’s Arctic drilling plans is another chance for President Obama to reconsider his disastrous approval of oil drilling in Alaska. The President’s decision on Arctic drilling will be a deal breaker for his climate legacy, but it’s not too late for him to stop this catastrophe before it starts,” said Annie Leonard, the Executive Director of Greenpeace US.

In May, the Obama administration approved Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea in the Alaskan Arctic. Since that approval, both Shell’s rigs, the Polar Pioneer and the Noble Discoverer have failed routine inspections, Greenpeace said. Shell plans to use the Polar Pioneer to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic in less than two weeks from now.

World Maritime News Staff; Image: ShellNo Council

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