Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior II to become hospital ship
Aug 16, 2011, 11:07 GMT
Singapore - Environmental activists Greenpeace on Tuesday said it had handed over its protest vessel Rainbow Warrior II to a Bangladeshi charity which would turn it into a hospital ship.
After 22 years of traversing the oceans on environmental campaigns, the vessel in the port of Singapore had been transferred to non-governmental group Friendship, Greenpeace said in a statement.
Renamed Rongdhonu, Bengali for rainbow, it would be serving the coast of Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal, enabling Friendship to deliver medical care to impoverished communities, it said.
The Rainbow Warrior II first sailed for Greenpeace in 1989. It replaced the original Rainbow Warrior which was bombed and sunk by French intelligence agents in 1985 in New Zealand while campaigning against France's nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean.
On one of its last tours before the Singapore handover, the ship carried out radiation sampling in the waters off the coast near the Japanese nuclear power plant in Fukushima, which was damaged during the earthquake and tsunami in March, said Greenpeace.
The group said construction of its new Rainbow Warrior III was nearly completed in Germany.
The vessel would join its fleet in October when Greenpeace was set to celebrate its 40th anniversary, it said.