Rainbow Warrior

Web Experience


Our web experience of the “Rainbow Warrior”, a Greenpeace vessel sunk by explosions from a French agent's bomb in 1985, sheds light on this tragic incident. An interactive underwater world from photo material and film footage is basis of this unique project. A virtual dive with an innovative concept, a vast array of thrilling information and guest appearances of various protagonists.


Greenpeace Deutschland e.V.


Web special
Online campaign
Campaign website Microsite
Interactive dive
Interactive documentation


Idea & conception
Photo and video production
Underwater film
Underwater photography
Soundscape production
Programming (HTML5)
Interactive documentation

The interactive multimedia offer shows you around the wreck of the Greenpeace vessel „Rainbow Warrior“ sunk by the French secret service over 30 years ago. From thousands of photos and videos produced especially for this project in New Zealand an individually explorable world came into being thanks to HTML5 technology.
Visitors of the website can plunge down to the wreck and control their dives around the ship themselves. Besides much information on flora and fauna at the artificial reef there can also be discovered on shore many details and thrilling information about the incredible story of the „Rainbow Warrior.“

Greenpeace used the 30th anniversary of the momentous attack on July 10th 1985 as an opportunity to document in a special format the state of the living reef today. The interactive online tool allows divers – and also not-yet divers – a fascinating exploration of the wreck off New Zealand's northeastern coast.
Perfectly suited for all those who love the sea, who can't immediately start on the long journey to New Zealand – and for all of those who want to gather first impressions before travelling and to get in the mood for their own dive to the wreck...


July 1985: in the harbour of Auckland, New Zealand the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior lay at anchor – ready for trip to Moruroa atoll to object against the French atom bomb test. But the vessel never put to sea. In the middle of the night of July 10th agents of the French secret service placed two explosive charges by the hull and sank the ship. A Greenpeace photographer, 35 years old Fernando Pereira, lost his life as a consequence. Later investigations showed that the French government was responsible for the assault. The Minister of Defence, Charles Hernu, and President François Mitterrand had known about the mission in Auckland. After first denials the French government ultimately had to admit to have given the order. An arbitration panel sentenced France to pay Greenpeace an indemnification running into millions.

In December 1987 – after all police investigations were completed – the ship was cleaned and repaired and brought to New Zealand's northeast coast. In picturesque Matauri Bay it got a traditional Mâori funeral and found its last resting place at around 30 metres’ depth. Meanwhile the wreck is a biosphere for countless marine organisms and a popular destination for divers from all over the world.

Greenpeace emerged strengthened from the tragic attack: the environmentalists enjoyed popularity and received broad support. The indemnification payable from France was used to equip a new flagship of the Rainbow Fleet, Rainbow Warrior II. She was a worthy replacement and cruised on the oceans for a total of more than 20 years. She was succeeded by Rainbow Warrior III, which was launched in 2011.