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. Dropping 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.