Greenpeace boat detained by Norway coastguard over action at oil rig
The 35-strong crew of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise has been arrested by the Norwegian coastguard following a protest at an oil rig.
The ship was demonstrating at a rig owned by Norwegian oil multinational Statoil located in the Barents Sea, reports The Independent Barents Observer.
Coastguard ship KV Nordkapp has now towed the activists’ vessel to Tromsø Harbour, reports the newspaper.
Arrests are reported to have occurred after the activists failed to maintain a 500-metre security distance from the Songa Enabler rig, located at the Kjorpfell field in the Barents Sea.
Activists also paddled up to the rig in kayaks, according to the report.
Extraction at the rig takes place approximately 415 kilometres from the Norwegian mainland.
Truls Gulowsen, leader of Greenpeace Norway, said the intervention by the coastguard was in breach of the law.
“The Norwegian coast guard doesn’t have the right to board or remove our ship. Protest at sea is an internationally recognized lawful use of the sea, related to the freedom of navigation,” he told The Independent Barents Observer.
Police requested the activists to respect the security zone around the rig via a press statement issued on Thursday.
The oil field in the Barents is the most northern at which Norway engages in drilling, at 74 degrees latitude.