Tuesday 8 January 2013


The little boat sinks 10 kms off the coast of Gran Canaria, miles after its departure to cross the Atlantic as a measure of protest against the planned oilrigs in front of the coast of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Crewmembers are safe and the crossing is postponed until the organization finds a new boat.

After 30 days of fixing and preparing the little campaign boat, all 3 crew members set sails from Corralejo (Fuerteventura) on December 25th. “Few hours later and just 40 km off the coast, hundreds of dolphins joined us, exactly in the area where rigs will eventually be installed. Seeing those dolphins in crystal blue water, we confirmed that this is no place for oil rigs”, claims WIm Geirnaert, crewmember and founder of Clean Ocean Project.

At night, wind and waves were picking up. Heading towards Cape Verde crewmembers noticed something was going wrong. “Maybe due to the heavy winds and waves, we realized that water was coming in at the back of the boat and we decided to change direction and sail to the harbor of Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria”, declare crewmembers.

At that time, 25-30 miles off the harbor, one of them sailed while the other 2 tried to fix the breakdown. Approaching Puerto Rico, the back fin finally broke. “Water was coming in too quickly so we decided to send a mayday with our position and to prepare the life raft. Right when the last crewmember jumped into the raft the boat went down into the deep of the Atlantic at 6 miles form the coast”, says Wim.

The rescue helicopter transmitted our position and the rescue boat arrived minutes later. Sea Rescue in Arguineguin did an exceptional job in 5 meters waves and brought crewmembers to land for which all are “extremely grateful”.

“We always knew that trying to stop this oil explorations would not be an easy fight against a multinational company but we will continue if possible to spread our campaign: To say No to oil in the Canary Islands. We financed this trip with our boat and our personal savings, once on land the clothes we were wearing was all we had left.
The impossible happened. We never thought it is possible that our boat could sink - but it happened. As impossible as an oil spill in the Canary Islands
 just like the one in the Gulf of Mexico?

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