David Robie's book, Eyes of Fire, tells the story of the last voyage of the original Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace campaign vessel bombed by French secret agents on 10 July 1985.
Thirty years ago, the Rainbow Warrior and her crew were invited to help the people of Rongelap Atoll escape from their nuclear contaminated island. The events that followed still haunt the Pacific. On this Little Island microsite, we look at the legacy of this vessel, its small crew of resourceful Greenpeace activists and the Pacific Island communities they tried to help.
Thirty years of nuclear poisoning left a heavy toll on the people of Rongelap Atoll. Finally, in 1985, they asked for help from Greenpeace who sent the Rainbow Warrior. In May of that year the people of Rongelap relocated to Mejato Island on nearby Kwajalein Atoll.
The Rainbow Warrior was a fisheries vessel until, in 1977, Greenpeace bought and refitted her. They took her out into the oceans of the world to do battle against whalers, sealers and against governments dumping nuclear waste and testing nuclear weapons.
Seven months after the Rainbow Warrior was bombed in Auckland harbour, David Robie's book Eyes of Fire was published. This book tells the story of the Rainbow Warrior's last voyage and the bombing. David won the 1985 New Zealand Media Peace Prize for his coverage. Several editions of the book have followed, each providing updates to the events. To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior on July 10 Little Island Press is releasing an updated edition of this important book.
Thirty years on a new generation is rediscovering the Rainbow Warrior through David Robie's book. Thirteen teams of tertiary students from Auckland's AUT university have been hard at work researching the events described in David's text. They have also been interviewing members of the original Rainbow Warrior crew.