Gallery: Shell’s Icebreaker Passes through Protesters

Royal Dutch Shell’s icebreaker Fennica has managed to squeeze through the protesting environmentalists in Portland and depart for the Arctic to support Shell’s drilling operation.

The ship set sail on Thursday afternoon having completed repairs to its hull that was breached earlier this month when the vessel was departing from the Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Protesters in kayaks and hanging from the St. Johns Bridge managed to get the vessel to turn around in its first attempt of passing down the Willamette River toward the Pacific Ocean as protesters moved to the center of the river.

26 Greenpeace climbers suspended themselves from St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon to block a Shell Oil vessel from leaving port for Alaskan waters with some of the spending 40 hours in climbers slings.

However, the local police authorities and coast guard officials managed to clear the way for MSV Fennica to move pass the blockade in its second attempt and resume its journey.

Greenpeace said in an update that the so called “ShellNo climbers” have since came off the bridge, adding that now “all eyes are on the US President Obama to save the Arctic.”

The Greenpeace activists are facing a fine of USD 2,500 for every hour that protesters dangled from the bridge to block the ship, the Associated Press reports.

The icebreaker is loaded with a capping stack that would be used to seal a well in case of a blowout, an essential piece of equipment for the start of Shell’s Arctic drilling plans in the Chukchi Sea, which were supposed to start in the third week of July.

World Maritime News Staff; Images: Greenpeace; The Climate Action Coalition/Rick Rapport