LIVE: we've scaled and occupied Cairn's Arctic rig

Posted by jamess — 22 April 2011 at 7:03am - Comments
by. Credit: Greenpeace

UPDATE: Force 7 gales have forced the activists down from the rig and to safety. But the campaign continues - stay tuned.

It's the only rig on the planet that is destined to begin new deep sea drilling in the Arctic this year.

Cairn Energy's Leiv Eiriksson is on its way to Baffin Bay, Greenland, leading the new oil rush.

This morning at 5.40 local time, a handful of our volunteers intercepted the rig shortly after it left Besiktas near Istanbul in Turkey.

For Cairn's boss Bill Gammell, Arctic drilling's a game. A gamble. He said a few weeks ago that drilling in the Arctic was "like going to the casino".

That's nothing short of outrageous.

While our activists are occupying Bill Gammell's rig, you can really help by spreading the word. Full details below the live feed.

What's at stake. We need to protect the Arctic

How you can help

With most of the UK busy enjoying two long weekends and a royal wedding, Bill Gammell is hoping his Arctic drilling plans will pass silently by.

We can't let that happen.

Here's whole bunch of things you can do (from bloggers to holidaymakers) to help build the momentum we need to keep the Arctic off limits to oil drillers like BP and Cairn Energy.

If you're on Facebook:

If you're on Twitter:

  • We'll be posting using #arctic as a hashtag for the moment.
  • Let people know what you think, let us know what you think (we're on @greenpeaceuk), get vocal and passionate

If you have a website/blog:

  • Embed our live coverage of the Arctic action on your website. Copy and paste this code into your page: 
    • <iframe src='' width='600' height='800' frameborder='0' style='border: 1px solid #000'></iframe>
  • Post the action pictures
  • Post our Arctic pictures
  • Write about what's going on, make sure your readers know how you feel
  • Ask us questions. you can always drop us a tweet with any questions on @greenpeaceuk and we'll get back to you as soon as we can
  • If you don't blog, why not set one up? Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr are easy options.
  • Let us know what you're up to. if you do write/post anything tweet us and we'll point other people to your site

And finally, If you're on holiday:

Talk about it. Tell the person sitting next to you on the train. Or the person selling you ice-cream. Or the barman pulling you a pint.

Whoever it is, let them know how you feel - Arctic drilling is an outrage, and it has to stop. 

More information on Cairn and Arctic drilling:

What fuel does greenpeace use in there ships!!!!?????? No more need said

greenpeace are looking a bit like chicken kiev lately, 80's and dated!!!

Excellent news! Always good to see the oil industry stopped in its tracks by brave climbers. Good luck and keep up the brilliant work!

I am in awe of those climbers. Brave souls to tackle the frighteningly rife, yet freakishly archaic attitude to energy that the world seems to have - thank goodness Greenpeace are doing something to get sensible, safe and peaceful clean energy, embedded in our future. Oil is truly filthy, not to mention unnecessary.


Oil is 80's and dated!!!

@Awesome activists

I er så sindsygt seje! Hils de andre!

Brilliant stuff. The Arctic is one of the most delicate environments on the plane - iIf you want bitter irony, consider this: The arctic is not only particularly vulnerable to the kind of oil spills that we saw a year ago in the gulf of mexico, it's also the part of our planet that's most vulnerable to global warming, and is warming much faster than the rest of the planet.

Stopping this rig will help protect the Arctic from the risk of devestating Deepwater Horizon-style accidents. But without the kind of change that gets us off oil for good, climate change is going to do it's own kind of devestation there - just a bit more discreetly.

Thanks for the comments - Arctic drilling is an outrage.

Here are some pictures if you want to be reminded of what's at stake:

Great work guys (and girls), drilling in the Arctic is insane.

We need to break our addiction to the black stuff, and to stop behaving like crack addicts going to ever more desperate lengths to score one more fix.

Deep water drilling in the pristine arctic wilderness, dodging icebergs, and 1000's of miles from the nearest cache of spill equipment (for when things go wrong) is about as desperate as you can get.

And for what, so we can drive gaz guzzling cars round the corner for the weekly shop, putting the final nail in the UK's tattered climate policy.

Just Say No

keep up the good work!!

@Anne482 - not sure what to make of your comment, surely the point of this action is to prevent potential mass ecological disaster in the Arctic, as well as attempt to challenge the status quo. Fossil fuels are not the way forward! 

"Boldness has genius, power and magic in it"

Well done Greenpeace - keep up the good work.  The last thing the world needs is more oil and more climate change.

anne482 - have you not noticed the very large sails on the Rainbow Warrior?

Great job from Greenpeace, particularly on Earth day.

Fantastic Well done!

Well done Greenpeace. Keep up the good work.

Deepwater drilling in the Arctic is madness and must not happen !!

anne482 to answer your moronic question Greenpeace's fleet of ships have newly fitted, more efficient, diesel electric propulsion; on board recycling of waste water, leaving only clean water pumped overboard; a waste based heating system; bilge water purifiers,15 times more effective than current legislation demands; TBT-free hull paint; ammonia based refrigeration and air-conditioning rather than climate changing and ozone depleting Freon gas - the first Dutch registered vessel to be so fitted; and an environmentally and economically efficient propulsion system to reduce CO2 emissions.

And when the weather is right they use sails and wind power.

If you wasn't such a hater you could have found this out for yourself. 

You can put your head back in the sand now.

Keep up the great works folks many people want to carry on burning fossil fuels regardless of the consequences because it suits there lifestyle, thankfully there are people like us who say enough is enough.

Cairn Energy have a small, concentrated Management who have been  "On the Ball" - not run like BP  - by remote, cost cutting, Meglomaniacs. Cairn have had no catastrophies  so far, and no doubt will take care to keep it that way. They have been massively successful for  Scotland/Britain over the last 10 years - while Pension Funds holding BP shares have seen negligible returns, overall!  Would Greenpeace rather the Oil came from the Tar Sands, which have a huge energy/CO2   cost of production? Or the Lights went out?



Thanks for all the comments - I've updated this page with a bunch of things you can do to help spread the word. Get involved!

Always refreshes my optimism to see Greenpeace in action.

Let's end oil before oil ends.

Keep up the good work, and also help get Cairn Energy off Aegon (Scottish Equitable) Ethical Pension.

So proud of you all. Stick with it - you are our front line and I wish you all the very best. Glad and proud to be a member.

I consider that we must consider that one of the major ways of getting people to act for the planet is to bring sutainability, environmentalism  and biodiversity to the top of all types of education. To this end, my wife and I, 15 years ago founded  an environmental education site on a landfill site in somerset. For an update visit our Hamish and Gillian Craig 

I consider that the major, nay only way to make people aware of the situation is to bring sutainability, environmental matters and biodiversity is to put it at the top of every strata of education. To that end, my wife and I foundeed an environmental education centre on a working landfill site 15 years ago. See JHamish and Gillian Craig

I admire your courage and vision.  Take care!

If the likes of BP, Chevron, Cairn and Exxon used their power and resources to switch their business model towards new and renewable forms of energy, it would probably be the smartest economic decision they ever made. The sun and wind will be around a lot longer than the oil. Just imagine that, for a second. They could turn into the ones that got us out of this mess, and still make ridiculous profits.


I'm sure if GreenPeace had the extra money to spend they might have invested in some battery or solar powered boats lol, but using that bit of fuel to try stop a mass more being used seems fair game to me. Your comment was plain idiotic.

My prayers for strength and endurance go out to all of you, as well as prayers for success. May you prevail in all of your efforts so that we may all inherit a safer and cleaner world for our children and future generations to come. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do, and may the corporate powers that be..see the error of their ways and heed your call to stop and act accordingly for the people and ultimately...the planet.

I admire the bravery of these activists and yes, we need to evolve from the 1930's. The obstacle is, living here in Canada, what am I going to put in my car and furnace tomorrow, not just twenty years from now? Surely not the wind and the sun? That's always the catch 22, isn't it?

However, this seems yet another Gulf Oil Spill waiting to happen. Therefore, no company should be allowed to drill where access to rescue and remedial services is prohibitive. I can't think of a more remote location than the Arctic, nor one more inaccessible. They all need to leave, now.

Good for you! I wish I was with you! 

Harassing people working for a small company is just a meaningless gesture, and unfortunately something I've come to expect. Greenpeace consistenly present (admittedly real) problems with no real way of tackling them.

Weaning society off oil is an incredibly complex issue and one ultimately driven by advances in science leading to economic take up of those technologies. Quite simply the ability to power ourselves from green means does not exist yet; and until it does we will need oil to drive it forward. That is not to say that oil dependence can not be reduce through people reducing their driving/flying/etc.

How about balancing your headline grabbing with some grown up pragmatism?

Hmm, probably should have proof read that!

go greenpeace. from romania

You are the only HOPE fore that illfaited planet!!! God bless you! What Greenpeace is doing is brilliant. Keep the pace!

No one will fight for this earth but you Greenpeace. No one does anything nowadays without 'money' being the big hidden agenda no matter what the cost in 'earth terms' or climate devastation. Without you we have nothing and no voice. Without you we have little or no hope! I stand beside you in sprit if not in body and pray with all my heart that you can stop this.. we can stop this..

The worls is getting so dirty and destroyed..the so called 'clean energy' nuclear power stations that devastate the environment and make it uninhabitable for thousands of years... and the oil spills of BP...Exon and others.. polluting the worlds sea' this! GO GREENPEACE! Stop them before it's too late!

If one spends too long prattling on about how to solve situations, then those with the money and power to reach more people with their prattle (companies, governments) will do so and the opinions of many are overlooked. Companies put profits first - they are business oriented - and they have the resources to continue justifying actions that are not forward-thinking, that are not decent and kind. Activists who actually do something in a non-violent and high-profile manner alert people to issues and give people like myself who want to see a world that works - for all species and for the environment - hope that this wonderful planet is not going to be whittled away at by greedy business interests until it's too late and we have lost something that counts. I do not believe the people who have boarded the rig are 'hassling' the workers and I do believe Greenpeace is trying to 'tackle' the problems they are committed to solving. 


Don't you have a petition we can sign and thereby make a statement to the governments of the world? I hope you succeed and you are great! Good luck and take care!!!!!






Get more clips onto YouTube so that they can become viral. This is a world-wide issue. Stuff the wedding and Easter - this is much more important. Forget the formal media - they're too bothered with Wills and Kate. Get the word out at grass-roots level. Good luck - and thank you - CJB.

well done Greenpeace!!! With you in spiritt !

Nice to see Greenpeace returning to the ethical values of it's founding members by impeding disasters before they occur!

Sad to see silly childish comments about their choice of fuel especially as the poster had obviously not done their homework as pointed out by David Hardy further back!

The pro oil comments presumably come from either those who are employed in some way by the oil industry or are too selfish to see the effects of energy wastefulness in the short or long term. Oil is a finite resource collected over millions of years converting it into energy all in one go  in the last century and this one (assuming oil reserves and consumption forecasts are correct!) has resulted in a planet plastered in muck as a direct result of the marketing of oil and before it coal, not to mention the many diseases attributed to fossil fuels.

The planet has no spare capacity to soak up the abuse of it's resources and it is only a matter of time before the population explosion of humans and animals produced on an industrial scale to sustain them tips over the balance point of no return! All matter on the planet is finite including the elements of biomass as well as oil. However when so much water etc is locked up in living bodies due to over population and the natural vegetation like grass, cereals, trees etc cease to exist due to desertification assisted by climate change then the lack of oil will be of no consequence as we will have become extinct like the dinosaur!

The only witnesses to the results of the disaster are likely to be visiting Martian school children on a field trip to see how not to treat your planet!

Hello friends,

Your action is of great value to the future of our home, planet Earth. Your work will be valued by our childeren, grand childeren en all the future generations. History is beïng written! With all my support!

Best regards


Greenpeace may not be universally popular, but they have bravely been doing a brilliant job of awareness-raising for decades.

Some of the comments I've just read are shocking, but not surprising from the apathetic of the modern world. I am, just, old enough to have been raised at a time when people expected and were expected to take responsibility for their impact on those around them, to 'do their bit', make the small sacrifices for the greater good. The preponderance of sayings like 'Every little helps', 'Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves', 'Mony a mickle maks a muckle' was no coincidence, people chipped in and worked together. Cameron parades his 'Big Society' as though it's something new - it's not, it's just been forgotten. It's sickening to see arguments for continued oil exploration instead of change just because the alternative requires a bit of effort. We're like junkies whining for the next fix instead of cleaning up and getting well.

I hold my hand up, I'm not 100% green, probably not even 50%, but I do what I can afford to do, make changes where I can and a lot of the time it's fun, or at least satisfying. Our current attitude is like a supertanker blundering towards disaster, is no-one excited by the challenge of trying to turn it around? We can't all be brave enough or fit enough to do what the Greenpeace activists do, but that's not an excuse for fatalism or inaction. One day, not too far off, our children or grandchildren are going to inherit a world that is beyond repair, some think we are already, this year or next, teetering on that point. I don't want to be the one that stands up and says 'Not my responsibility, mate, not my job' - do you?

@ anne482: Greenpeace might be using oil as fuel but the minimal amount used in their journey relative to the potential effect of collosal amounts being extracted from the Arctic makes it pale into insignificance! Great work Greenpeace. The odds are against you, fight (peacefully) like David did against Goliath and may the Ocean god's be with you! 

Well said HCW

Same-old same-old spilling

is a thousand times worse with arctic drilling. 

Great news, keep on doing the good work. After what we experienced with the disaster of the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico one can only hope that these greedy oil companies come to their senses, helas ...

Stop this urge for energy that doesn't last. Nor will mother earth if you go on like this.

Take your bikes and start working closer. Use public transport if you want to travel further.

hope you's fools freeze hanging off the back of a sailing oil rig! you haven't stopped it, its still sailing! lol and what did you put in the speedboat that took you out to the rig?! hypocrites!! ha ha ha

Congratulations to the interceptors, challenging greed with a proper sense of responsibility towards a Planet which we all share.  Couldn't that money used by Cairns instead be used to feed the starving in West Africa

Congratulations to the interceptors, challenging short-sighted greed with an enviable sense of responsibility towards the fragile planet which we all share.  Money wasted on polluting the Arctic should be used to enable West African farmers to conserve their shrinking land

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