At about 5:50 am on Saturday, the first reports came in over Twitter that the 'Rachel Corrie' had been boarded close to Gaza. Earlier the activists reported that their radar had been jammed, however their Twitter accounts continued to operate.
The activists reported that three boats were following them for about twenty minutes and then that they had been boarded.
The passengers are said to be under arrest.
A couple of hours before the ship was seized, a Malaysian NGO which was co-sponsoring the ship, "Perdana Global Peace Organization" stated on its website that the ship's passengers had agreed to let an international force search the ship, before it proceeded to Gaza. The statement said that, while the activists rejected Israel's right to blockade Gaza, the activists "request and invite for an independent international body, preferably inspectors from the the United Nations to board the ship and do the necessary to certify as to the nature of the cargo on board."
The Malaysian NGO described the ship as a joint Irish-Malaysian effort. The organization's website describes its mission as to "oppose war and champion peace and global understanding."
Before the ship made its offer, Irish Foreign Minister, Dr. Michael Martin reached an agreement with Israel, whereby the Rachel Corrie would proceed to Ashdod where its contents would be checked, unloaded and then shipped to Gaza under observation of representatives of the activists, the UN and the Irish government. The activists rejected this offer, insisting on breaking the Israeli blockade. They did however give assurances that they would not resist the IDF, should it decide to board the ship. The White House later expressed support for the agreement and called on the ship to dock at Ashdod.