Greenpeace activists board North Sea drilling ship

Greenpeace activists had occupied an oil drilling ship anchored off the Shetland Isles to push for a ban on deepwater drilling in the North Sea, the environmental group said Tuesday.

Two activists used speedboats to reach the 228-metre (750-foot) long “Stena Carron” ship and climbed up the rungs of the anchor chain before hanging off the side in tents suspended on ropes.

One of the Greenpeace protesters, Anais Schneider, said: “The Shetlands are so beautiful and an oil spill here could devastate this area and the North Sea.

“It?s time to go beyond oil. Our addiction is harming the climate, the natural world and our chances of building a clean energy future.”

US oil giant Chevron, which operates the ship, accused Greenpeace of endangering lives and appealed to the group to immediately stop the protest.

“This kind of action is foolhardy and demonstrates that Greenpeace is willing to put its volunteers at risk to carry out such reckless publicity stunts, and we are concerned for the safety of those involved,” a spokesman said.

The company added: “Chevron’s first priority is always safety. We are confident our operations are safe and we can drill deepwater wells in the Atlantic Margin safely and without environmental harm.”

Earlier this month, Greenpeace activists climbed on to an oil rig operated by Scottish oil exploration group Cairn Energy off the coast of Greenland and halted drilling for more than a day.

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