Four hundred and eighty-eight miles south-east of Pamplona, a small freighter, a little over 10,000 tons, was leaving a north-African port and heading towards the Straits of Gibraltar, with its final destination the north-west of Spain.
The crew of ten were hired because they knew the fishing areas of the eastern Atlantic and because of their belief in a cause. Anyone checking the ship would have seen nothing untoward. The only modern piece of equipment was the inflatable boat kept in one hold.
The freighter’s cargo was hidden away in a secret compartment made for the occasion. Neither the cargo nor the inflatable would make the return journey.
The crew all believed they would come back. The freighter ploughed on to its destination, keeping close to the North African coast as it headed towards the Straits of Gibraltar.