Chiara D'Angelo interview: Arctic activist who spent 66 hours suspended from anchor said nature inspired her to continue protest

20-year-old wanted to draw attention to plan to drill for oil in pristine ocean

Click to follow

The activist who spent 66 hours suspended from the anchor of an oil exploration vessel has said she took strength during her protest from looking at the wildlife surrounding her.

Chiara D’Angelo attached herself on Friday evening to the anchor of the Arctic Challenger as it moored north of Seattle. The ship is among those that Royal Dutch Shell intend to use as they drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off northwestern Alaska later this summer.

Ms D’Angelo ended her protest at around 9.30m. Speaking from the town of Bellingham, she told the The Independent that when she started the protest, she had no idea how long she would manage to remain suspended from the anchor.


“I feel extremely fortunate and surrounded by love,” she said. “There must have been 15 times when I said ‘I can’t do this any more. But then I’d see an otter, or a bird overhead, or else my friends did these supply runs to me, and I’d manage to keep going.”

She added: “I am just so amazed that we were able to create this protest and it it came true.”

Shell’s plans also have drawn large protests in Seattle, where a large floating drill rig is being prepared for the operation to drill in the remote and dangerous Chukchi Sea, off northwestern Alaska.

Over the weekend, Matt Fuller, a fellow activist, joined Ms D’Angelo and also hung from the anchor until he asked for the coast guard to assist him in getting off in the early hours of Sunday.

A spokesman for the coast guard, Lt Dana Warr, said the service had no plans to charge Ms D’Angelo with any offence.

Ms D’Angelo said she and her fellow activists were now regrouping to continue their protests against the Shell operation.

She said: “This is just a very small act in a large progression of momentum.”