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Coast Guard Fines Five Greenpeace Activists for Icebreaker Protest

August 12, 2015

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has notified five Greenpeace protesters they are being fined $5,000 each for interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, during their effort to blockade a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker in Portland for repairs. 

The protesters facing the fines include three who dangled on lines below the St. John's bridge for 40 hours, and two support staff who were on the deck of the bridge.

The violations have been referred to a Coast Guard hearing office in Virginia. The protesters have the right to appeal.

A Greenpeace spokeswoman said Wednesday she had not been notified of the charges and was working to confirm them.

The icebreaking vessel Fennica arrived in Portland late last month for repairs to its hull after sustaining damage in the Aleutian Islands.

To prevent the vessel from leaving Portland and returning to the Arctic, 13 Greenpeace protesters suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge.

Portland police, fire and rescue teams, and members of the Coast Guard were eventually able to clear the way for the Fennica to leave the city July 30.

The vessel arrived at Shell's Arctic Ocean drilling site on Tuesday.

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The U.S. Coast Guard escorted the Fennica past protesters Thursday, July 30, 2015.

John Rosman