Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard

Greenpeace reports that its vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, has been boarded by the Russian Coast Guard after a protest against oil and gas drilling in the Russian Arctic.

The crew of the vessel tweeted throughout the drama. A tweet by Greenpeace HQ indicated that everyone was safe but that the crew was not "in control of the ship at this point."

Greenpeace says that the vessel is in international waters in the Barents Sea. It said the confrontation began yesterday, when the Russian Coast Guard arrested two Greenpeace activists who had climbed aboard a drilling platform that belongs to Gazprom, the state oil company.

During the initial protest the Coast Guard fired 11 warning shots across the bow of the Arctic Sunrise.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed that the border guards had fired warning shots "due to the genuine threat to the security of the Russian oil and gas complex, and failure to obey a lawful order to stop illegal activity."

At 6 pm local time today, the Arctic Sunrise crew tweeted that there was a helicopter overhead:

BREAKING: Helicopter hovering above Arctic Sunrise, rope dropping down. We think the Coast Guard is boarding us. #SaveTheArctic

Coast Guard commandos rappelled onto the vessel, as the some of the activists took refuge in the ship's communications room:

Russian authorities onboard with guns. They are breaking into the comms room now. #savethearctic

Other crew members were detained:

Latest from the deck: Crew are sitting on their knees on the helipad with guns pointed at them. #Savethearctic

As the commandos began to break into the communications room:

This is pretty terrifying. Loud banging. Screaming in Russian. They're still trying to kick in the door. #savethearctic

About twenty minutes after the final tweet from the crew, Greenpeace HQ took over confirming that there was no more contact with the crew:

No contact to the Arctic Sunrise anymore. Greenpeace will continue to tweet updates here #SaveTheArcrtic

That was followed shortly afterward by another tweet from Greenpeace saying that the Arctic Sunrise was not in Russian territorial waters when the Coast Guard boarded it:

Last known GPS coordinates we received from the ship: 69-19-53N : 57-16-53E. They are in international waters. pic.twitter.com/eQtB60XrQC

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For Hollywood, 'Selma' Is A New Kind Of Civil Rights Story

The film, about a 1965 voting rights march, stands out for its focus on black characters, including some of the movement's lesser-known organizers, and the way it humanizes Martin Luther King Jr.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Facebook Finds That Not All Users Like The 'Year In Review' App

The social media giant's "Year in Review" app has upset some who prefer to forget 2014's unpleasant memories.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.