John Weekes

John Weekes is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Lawless unimpressed as Shell ship breaks free

Lucy Lawless. Photo / Supplied
Lucy Lawless. Photo / Supplied

Eco-warrior princess Lucy Lawless has slammed oil giant Shell as its drilling ship runs into new trouble.

Lawless is awaiting sentencing for boarding Shell's Noble Discoverer with fellow Greenpeace activists when it visited Taranaki in February.

This week the ship slipped its moorings in an Alaskan harbour, drifting close to the coast before it was towed back to deeper water.

"It was another sign of what a crappy tug that is," Lawless said. "The fact it has to be towed shows it's not fit for purpose."

Lawless said the incident was evidence of "the contempt Shell has for the safety of the environment".

Veteran seamen had told Greenpeace the ship was dangerous, she said.

"A lot of old salts were coming up saying, 'it's a death trap'."

Shell NZ spokeswoman Shona Geary said three anchor cables had broken in gale force winds and 11m swells off Taranaki. "No one was injured and there was no harm to the environment. Maritime NZ investigated and found no further action was necessary."

The drill ship's anchor cables failed in a storm off the Taranaki coast last year.

- Herald on Sunday

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