Greenpeace Anchor Fouling Pod

On March 24th 1999, ATC’s supertanker Marine Columbia entered Prince William sound to find the SeaLand SeaRiver vessels anchored far from port. The mate on watch was aware of the fact that Exxon renamed it’s fleet SeaRiver and he realized that it was the 10th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez but did not put the two facts together until the ship was secured alongside the dock when he got an unusual call from his AB on deck.

“Mate, request permission to drop the Starboard Anchor.” said the AB.

“WTF do you want to do that for?” replied the mate.

“Come up here and see for yourself!”

Upon arriving on the bow he was directed to the hawsepipe where he could plainly see Greenpeace protesters who had chained themselves to the anchor. Greenpeace protester boarding the anchor survival podDropping the anchor was, of course, a joke. Rather than sending the activists on a quick trip to Davey Jone’s locker the police were called and they where removed the proper way, by a SWAT team with rappelling gear and bolt cutters. But it left a strong impression in everyone’s mind, what would have happened if the anchor slipped or if the AB had not been American but from a country less tolerant of such actions? For this reason Greenpeace developed a new device in their arsenal of anti-ship weapons; The Anchor Pod.

According to Greenpeace, no expense was spared in the building of the 2 meter wide, 1/2 ton yellow pod which they have “equipped with supplies to last for a month.The pod has everything you need, bathroom, kitchen, hospital … and housemates.” said Leila Deen, an activist who lived in the pod during it’s recent deployment against the drillship Stena Carron. The pod reportedly cost Greenpeace nearly $50,000 to construct and is made of “bullet proof” material (probably a carbon fiber or kevlar composite) although we question the survivability of the design.

Of curious note, at the time of the protest the Stena Carron, as this video shows, had both anchor’s hung off just above the water’s edge making it easy for the protester’s to gain access. If any of our readers have insight into why the anchors where hung off please add a comment below.

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  • Carl

    Exxon renamed their fleet SeaRiver, not SeaLand.

  • CaptMike

    They are nuts if they think this thing will survive anything and I’m kicking myself for not finding their “pod photo caption contest” sooner:

    But maybe we can start a caption contest of our own… my entry would be “Crash Test Dummies”

  • Kurt

    I’d rather be inside that pod than tied to a bouy like this clown…

  • 3rdmateatsea

    They are also gullible enough to be scared by the chevron lawyers:

    “Much as we would have liked to stay in the pod for weeks or even months, when Chevron brought their big money lawyers out to get an injunction against us, we really had no choice but to come down. We didn’t want to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds of supporter money daily in fines straight into the pockets of an oil giant.

    What’s worrying us is Chevron’s reason for the injunction. They claim hanging on their anchor chain is “a risk to the vessel”, because it prevents them dropping their anchor chain if their thrusters fail.

    The job of the eight thrusters on the Stena Carron is to keep the 228-metre drill ship within one metre of a designated spot, so that it can drive a drill into the ground and hunt for oil without the ship moving. So serving us with an injunction based on the possibility that their thrusters could fail is pretty terrifying.

    Think about it. If they’re worried about the ship in the relatively sheltered waters off Lerwick, what does that mean when they’re in the rough seas north of Shetland with a drill stuck in the seabed? What if their thrusters fail then? Would we be facing another Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, this time in UK waters?”

    Or am I missing something? They did have 2 working anchors right?

    And john has a good point. WHY would they have them both hovering just above the water’s edge? Did they not have an anchor watch that could have pulled the anchors when they saw the boat coming for them?

    And don’t the Greenpeace motherships use AIS? If I saw n on AIS I’d be sure to get underway asap, but that’s just me.

  • nothanks

    Has anyone seen pictures of the inside? Watching the video first I thought, she’s kinda cute I might not mind being stuck inside the POD with her but then I read that they had a bathroom inside. NO THANKS

  • John Konrad

    Of course… Thanks Carl!

  • drkblram

    Hey! they don’t have a TWIC!!! :)

    I still wonder why I took evasive action when the RAINBOW WARRIOR II cut me off in the approaches to Gibraltar in ’02… I think it was cause there was no way the headline “American tanker rams RW2″ would end well for us…

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