Archive for May 4th, 2009

We, Derek and I, were woken at 7.15 a.m. this morning by a phone call informing us the DIGNITY was damaged in the marina in larnaca after heavy winds and seas in a storm in Cyprus last night. Derek immediately got in to the car and reached larnaca in record time, ( for legal reasons, he is claiming to have stayed within speeding limits!). When he reached the marina, he seen the DIGNITY was damaged on the starboard aft quarter. Already, there was a lot of activity around her and a tow boat was tied on ready to lead her to safety of larnaca port for further examination. He jumped aboard and started the generators and the bilge pumps as she was taking in water. Derek and h, (a fellow concerned boat owner at the marina,) pulled in the anchors and headed towards port.


Approximately, half way to the port, as they turned, the boat was getting hit on the starboard side by heavy seas which caused her to take on more water at a faster rate than the bilge pumps could handle.

The DIGNITY  started to go down and Derek shouted at h to get ready to abandon ship. Derek launched the life raft , both men clambered in and headed towards the tow boat. Once, aboard the tow boat, all they could do was watch the DEMISE OF THE DIGNITY.

A clearly upset and wet derek rang me and said, ” all i could do was watch,. She was a strong boat, and fought hard. She did what was asked of her. As i watched she groaned and cried and struggled to stay afloat. With one last loud cry , the wheel house collapsed and the fly bridge broke from the main structure, then it went quiet”


Some debris and contents began to wash back to shore and marina by the strong waves. When derek got back to the marina he went to where she had been docked .


Amazingly, and truthfully, one of the first things to make it back to this spot was the Irish flag!!, apart from the Palestinians themselves, the Irish have had the most passengers on board the free gaza boats to Gaza, and i guess this was a thank you!!


So, with very very sad hearts we now need help. following is the FREE GAZA ANNOUNCEMENT regarding the sinking of the boat and a genuine plea for help. We are still determined to go to gaza in 4 weeks time, hopefully with your help we will purchase and overhaul another boat in time. Details of how to DONATE VIA FREE GAZA WEBSITE is in the following press release,

your support is badly needed right now, thank you,



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AN URGENT APPEAL TO HELP BREAK THE SIEGE OF GAZA AN URGENT APPEAL TO HELP BREAK THE SIEGE OF GAZA Monday, 04 May 2009 15:47 Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2009 16:12 Written by Free Gaza Movement

 “From the groundbreaking work of Gandhi and King to the ongoing example of the Free Gaza Movement, we can discern the transforming power of nonviolence at a crossroads in our history.” -H.E. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly

 Dear Friends,

 We desperately need your help. It’s with heavy hearts that we have to inform you that the Free Gaza ship, the DIGNITY, has been lost outside Larnaca port in Cyprus. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident. On 30 December 2008 the DIGNITY was rammed by the Israeli navy while on a mission of mercy to deliver critically needed medical supplies and doctors to the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. Thanks to the heroic efforts of its captain and crew, the DIGNITY was able to find safe harbor in Lebanon, later making its way to Cyprus for repairs. Early this morning we received a call from the Harbor Master in Larnaca, informing us that the ship was taking on water. While attempting to tow her to safety, the ship went down. An inquiry has begun into the circumstances surrounding her demise, possibly due to storm damage suffered during the night. All of us in Free Gaza are deeply saddened by the loss of the DIGNITY.

Since the Free Gaza Movement was founded in 2006 we have worked hard to overcome the siege of Gaza. Israeli policies of racism, ethnic cleansing and the brutal military occupation of Palestine demand our determined & direct resistance. When our governments fail to act, we – the citizens of the world – must stand up and make our voices heard. To date, the Free Gaza Movement has organized seven voyages to Palestine, successfully arriving in Gaza Port five times. We have brought dozens of human rights workers, journalists, parliamentarians, and others to Gaza, as well as tons of desperately needed medical and humanitarian supplies. Free Gaza boats are the first international ships to sail to the Gaza Strip since 1967. None of this would have been possible without you, our friends. Your emotional, political, and financial support is the foundation of all our successes.

 We’re turning to you today, because we need your help now more than ever. Please visit our donate page for more information on how you can help ensure our continuing missions to Palestine. Please give generously. Despite our loss today, we will not be deterred. In one month we will return to Gaza with the HOPE FLEET, a flotilla of cargo and passengers ships carrying significant amounts of humanitarian and reconstruction aid.

Thanks to your support, we will go to Gaza again and again, until this siege is forever ended and the Palestinian people have free access to the rest of the world. This is our solemn promise.

 Sincerely Yours,

 Huwaida Arraf

Greta Berlin

Eliza Ernshire

Derek Graham

Fathi Jaouadi

Ramzi Kysia

Vaggelis Pissias

The interim Board of Directors for the Free Gaza Movement

PS: We’re suggesting a donation of €50, but please give what you can. Your contributions will go directly toward the purchase and overhaul of new ship that can break through the siege of Gaza and help connect Palestine with the rest of the world.

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