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Oil Tanker Update

Oil Tanker Update

Greenpeace continues to campaign against unsafe oil tankers in the aftermath of the disastrous Prestige spill off the coast of Spain.

After delaying the departure of the Byzantio, chartered by the same company, Crown Resources, that chartered the Prestige, Greenpeace activists confronted the ship off the coast of Denmark and then attached a banner and climbed the ship when it docked in Rotterdam this afternoon.

As well today, Greenpeace activists "decorated" the headquarters of Crown Resources in Zug, Switzerland with waste from the Prestige spill.

More than ten thousand people from around the world have sent letters to the International Maritime Organization. This is the fastest response ever to a Greenpeace international cyberaction. Thank you to everyone who has participated.

If you haven't sent your letter yet, please do so now here:


Thank you also to the more than 1200 people who wrote to the Estonian trasport minister last Friday.

You can join the over 500 people who have posted comments on the Prestige spill here:


You can also donate to our campaign to replace fossil fuels with clean energy sources here:


We are now awaiting the outcome of the European Union transport ministers meeting taking place in Brussels over the next two days.

Please check http://www.greenpeace.org for the latest news.

Here's the latest news release:

Greenpeace protests against "Floating Dustbin" in Rotterdam Harbour

Rotterdam, 4 December 2002 - Greenpeace activists today continue to highlight the threat of unsafe transport vessels in the world's oceans. Activists climbed the now infamous "floating dustbin", the Byzantio, a 26 year old, single hulled vessel transporting over 50,000 tonnes of oil and hung a banner, which read "oil hazard" onboard. Other activists were set to paint the same words on the hull of the ship.

Today’s action comes in the run-up to tomorrow’s Transport, Energy and Telecommunications EU Council Ministers' meeting in Brussels. They are expected to announce measures for improving maritime safety to reduce the risk of accidents. On December 12 and 13 the EU Heads of Government will meet and will be discussing the issue of maritime safety.

On December 3rd, the European Commission requested that member states speed up the implementation of safety measures adopted after the Erika oil spill three years ago. But these measures will not be sufficient to prevent another disaster, says Greenpeace. The EU Commission also published a list of 66 vessels that have been classified as "highly dangerous", ironically, neither the disastrous Prestige, nor the Byzantio appear on this list.

"When are politicians going to wake up and realise that tackling this mess goes beyond mere suggestions," said Marietta Harjono of Greenpeace. "Now is the time for European governments to take action and stop these old rust buckets from causing more damage to the oceans. Now is the time for immediate implementation of effective safety measures."

Greenpeace is demanding full and unlimited liability throughout the chain of responsibilities, including the owners, managers and operators of a vessel and of any charterers or owners of the cargo. Additionally, Greenpeace is demanding that the EU immediately ban the use of single hulled tankers and exclude ecologically sensitive areas from shipping routes.

Concurrently, activists in Switzerland have sent a message to Crown Resources, the company that has chartered both the Byzantio and the Prestige: Clean up your mess now! pointing to the fact that as charterers of the Prestige they should be held responsible for the ecological disaster.

On Friday, November 29 Greenpeace began to highlight the imminent passage of the Byzantio through the same route as the ill-fate Prestige that broke off and sank off the coast of Spain earlier last month. Greenpeace activists delayed the Byzantio's departure from Tallinn, Estonia during 5 hours. Two days later, Greenpeace activists in inflatables escorted the Byzantio through the Danish Belts, drawing attention to the dangerous shipment by hanging banners with the word "Hazard" on the hull.

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