On July the 18th, the 105 foot schooner "Fri" was cruising near Mururoa Atoll - the venue of the French nuclear tests.
SV "Fri's" crew working on deck (4 shots)
LV Ocean with French frigate in distance
SV dinghy approaches Fri with French on board
SV French board Fri (2 shots)
CU French letter of warning presented to crew.
Initials AE/23.11 AE/23.24
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: On July the 18th, the 105 foot schooner "Fri" was cruising near Mururoa Atoll - the venue of the French nuclear tests. The "Fri" from New Zealand, was protesting against the tests and had spent many days inside the 12-mile (20km) "danger zone" On that day the "Fri" was approached by French naval vessels, boarded by a french party, and the schooner was taken in tow.
One of the five crew-members, Alister Barry, was ready with his camera, nd filmed the seizure by the french. The exposed film was hidden among the "Fri" stores, and one roll was smuggled back to New Zealand, taped to the stomach of the pregnant member of the "Fri" crew
While Barry was filming from a hidden spot, the "Fri" skipper, David Moodie sent out this message..." You guys, this will probably be our last communication...there is a party of 15 men aboard 'Fri at the moment...they are taking over the radio...we have refused the tow and have told them we will offer nothing more than passive resistance to their efforts."
The schooner and the crew were towed to the remote Hao Atoll. Nine days later, the "Fri" was taken to Papeete in Tahiti, and the crew were hospitalised for a short time. The "Fri" returned to the test area in early August to continue to protest.