Dramatic video captured Saturday appears to show vessels from the Spanish Navy colliding with smaller Greenpeace boats in an incident that injured four people, at least one of them seriously.
Greenpeace and the Spanish Navy are giving conflicting versions of what happened, but both agencies confirm that an unnamed Italian woman was injured in the confusion.
According to NBC News, Greenpeace is claiming that the Spanish Navy deliberately rammed their boats causing the unnamed woman to fall overboard. She was pulled from the water and airlifted to a nearby hospital with a broken leg.
Boats rammed during peaceful protest against oil drilling, 1 activist hospitalised http://t.co/BcnbkKSiLT
— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) November 15, 2014
The Spanish Navy, however, disputes that claim. Their claim is that the Greenpeace activist fell overboard and was injured when her leg was struck by the propeller of one of the Spanish naval vessels.
What both sides seem to agree on, according to The Independent, is why Greenpeace was there in the first place. The Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise was off the coast of the Canary Islands to protest oil exploration in the area by the Spanish oil corporation Respol, which Greenpeace says threatens the region’s fragile ecosystem.
“We are calling on the Spanish government to protect the environment and to protect the people of the Canary Islands and not to be protecting the corporate profits of Repsol. An oil spill in the Canary Islands would be devastating for the environment and the economy of these popular tourist spots.”
Despite the collision, both Greenpeace and the Canary government plan to continue to protest Respol’s proposed oil drilling in the region.
[Image courtesy of: NBC News]