Friday 21 July 2017

Timeline of tragic voyage to reach Gaza

May 13 -- MV Rachel Corrie sets sail from Dundalk, Co Louth, bound for Gaza carrying 900 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including building supplies and school equipment.

May 27, 5am -- Challenger II, with three Irish on board, leaves Crete port of Aghios Nikolaos bound for Cyprus.

May 28 -- Challenger II and Rachel Corrie wait off Cyprus attempting to dock to collect Irish politicians. However, they are refused entry into Cypriot waters.

May 29 -- Challenger II meets the rest of the flotilla and all six boats head for Gaza. Rachel Corrie develops technical problems and lags behind the main convoy.

May 30 -- 9.14pm: the convoy is approached by Israeli defence forces.

9.48pm: the Free Gaza ships are told they will be towed to Israel or boarded by the military.

10.30pm: last contact from the Challenger II by Fintan Lane saying "tension is mounting".

Passengers don life-jackets as they prepare for Israelis to board.

May 31 -- 4am: first reports come in that Israeli forces have boarded flotilla. Nine activists are confirmed killed.

Irish Independent

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