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,