Page last updated at 19:28 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 20:28 UK

Protesters leave coal cargo ship

Protesters in a speedboat head towards the freight ship - Pic: Greenpeace
Protesters used inflatable speedboats to approach the ship

Greenpeace campaigners who boarded a ship delivering coal to Kingsnorth power station have ended their protest.

The vessel was targeted as it sailed up the River Medway in Kent.

The group, protesting against the building of a replacement coal-fired power station on the site, climbed aboard from inflatable speedboats.

Four people came down from the foremast after being served with an injunction. Six other protesters were arrested earlier.

Protester Sarah Shoraka, 31, speaking just before leaving the freighter at 1830 BST, said: "We climbed onto this ship, and stayed onboard throughout the night and all day, because coal is the most climate-damaging fuel known to man.

"If we keep burning coal, we can't beat climate change.

"But Ed Miliband's new policies would still allow E.On to build the dirtiest new power station in Britain for 30 years."

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge said their actions put lives at risk

All 10 protesters are being questioned by Kent Police.

They are being held on suspicion of conspiring to commit criminal damage and having an unauthorised presence on a ship.

The ship was boarded at about 2250 BST on Sunday as it approached the power station near Hoo.

It managed to dock at Kingsnorth despite the action of the protesters.

Speaking earlier, Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge said: "This is a working coal-carrying vessel and clearly a dangerous environment for anyone who hasn't been trained to work in it."

Emily Highmore, a spokeswoman for E.On which owns Kingsnorth, said the campaigners' action was unacceptable.

"What they have done in getting on to the ship was incredibly dangerous and clearly unacceptable from our point of view.

Greenpeace campaigner Sarah Shoraka speaking from on board the ship earlier

"We respect their right to protest but what they are doing is irresponsible and wrong, they have not got permission to be on-site."

Kingsnorth has been at the centre of a climate change row since E.On announced plans to build a bigger coal-fired power station to replace the existing facility.

If built it would be the first new coal-powered plant in the UK for a quarter of a century.

An estimated 1,500 demonstrators attended a climate camp to protest against the plans last August.



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