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Shoot: North Sea The Tide Must Turn

In August 1987, Greenpeace launches an eight-week action campaign against ocean incineration, the burning of hazardous waste, particularly highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in furnaces aboard ships at sea. Greenpeace has been campaigning on the issue for five years now in both Europe and the US, presenting national and international governments with extensive scientific and technical evidence that calls into question the desirability, efficiency and environmental acceptability of waste incineration at sea. On August 22th, activists from the 'Sirius' board the incinerator ship 'Vesta' at the North Sea, chaining themselves to the chimneys of the furnaces and hanging a banner reading 'Ban the burn'. As a result, the ship is forced to take its full cargo of waste back to port. Two days later, a late-night effort to board the ocean incineration ship "Vulcanus II" results in a nine-hour battle between activists in inflatables and the ship's crew armed with high pressure hoses, who prevents Greenpeace from boarding. The Vulcanus II subsequently heads for Spain, only to find that pressure of public opinion, influenced by convincing evidence from Greenpeace, has led the Spanish government to revoke a permit allowing the ship to burn its cargo off the northern coast of Spain. Forced to return to the North Sea, the Vulcanus II is once again prevented from burning its cargo, this time by the Sirius and a flotilla of some 30 Danish fishing boats, who also prevent the incinerator ship 'Vesta' from burning its cargo. High pressure hoses are deployed in a prolonged confrontation that ends on October 19, when the Vulcanus II's propeller accidentally snags a fishing net and the ship has to be towed back to harbour.
Action against Incinerator Vesta in the North Sea
22 Aug, 1987
Action against Incinerator Vesta in the North Sea
Action against Incinerator Vulcanus II in the North Sea
16 Oct, 1987
Action against Incinerator Vulcanus II in the North Sea
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