Environmental campaign group Greenpeace said on Tuesday it had handed over its iconic protest ship Rainbow Warrior II to a Bangladeshi charity which will turn it into a floating hospital.
Greenpeace said it hoped that the charity, Friendship, would continue to use the ship as a beacon of hope.
"This ship has carried people from around the world and has stood as an icon of hope over pessimism and as an emblem of action over complacency. It is time to pass that task on," said Mike Fincken, Rainbow Warrior II captain.
Friendship has renamed the vessel Rongdhonu, which also means Rainbow, and will turn it into a hospital ship.
From plying the high seas to protest against whaling and nuclear testing, the ship will now stay close to shore to deliver medical assistance to impoverished communities in
, Mr Fincken said. Bangladesh
"The Rongdhonu will enable Friendship to bring aid to inaccessible parts of
that are already experiencing the effects of climate change," he said. Bangladesh
Greenpeace's original Rainbow Warrior was sunk by French intelligence agents in 1985 in
New Zealand in a bid to stop activists from protesting against France's nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean.
It was replaced by Rainbow Warrior II, which first sailed for the organisation in 1989.
The ship confronted environmental crimes and nuclear testing, provided disaster relief to victims of the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia, and blocked shipments of illegal timber from the world's rainforests, Greenpeace said.
The vessel also "sailed against over fishing, whaling, war, global warming and other environmental crimes on every ocean of the world," it said.
Before coming to
Singapore for the handover, the ship carried out radiation sampling in waters off Fukushima, the site of the nuclear power plant damaged during the earthquake and tsunami that hit in March. Japan
It will set sail for the Bangladeshi
after the handover. port of Chittagong
Construction of a new Rainbow Warrior, the third ship to bear the name, is nearly complete in
. It will join the Greenpeace fleet in October when the organisation marks its 40th anniversary. Germany
Source: The Telegraph. 16 August 2011