On July 10, 1985, the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, sank in the Auckland, New Zealand, harbor. French secret service agents bombed the ship, which was in New Zealand to protest French nuclear testing in the South Pacific. After two explosions damaged the ship, the Rainbow Warrior sunk, killing a Greenpeace photographer onboard. 

Rainbow Warrior was named after a Cree legend about a group of people—the “Warriors of the Rainbow”—who would make the Earth “green again.” Greenpeace used the Rainbow Warrior to lead ocean protests surrounding pollution, overfishing, and nuclear testing.

Today, Greenpeace has three ships: Rainbow Warrior III, Esperanza, and Arctic Sunrise.


part of a body of water deep enough for ships to dock.

Native American

person whose ancestors were native inhabitants of North or South America. Native American usually does not include Eskimo or Hawaiian people.


introduction of harmful materials into the environment.

noun, verb

demonstration against a policy or action.

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