10 people in distress in the Western Med, all rescued

03.06.2015 / 11:57 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigation – 2nd of June 2015

Case name: 2015_06_02-WM15
Situation: Distress call from the Western Mediterranean Sea, rescued by the Spanish Salvamento Maritimo
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: At around 5.30am on Tuesday the 2nd of June 2015, a contact person located on mainland Morocco informed the Alarm Phone shift team about a vessel in distress in the Western Mediterranean Sea and passed on the phone number of one of the passengers. The small plastic vessel had left Cap Spartel in Morocco at around 3am in the morning, carrying 8 men and 2 women.

The shift team contacted the Spanish rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo in Tarifa who confirmed that they would begin to search for the vessel. These information were passed back to our contact person. At around 6.15am he reached out to us once again, informing us that the phone on board seemed to be switched off. We contacted Salvamento Maritimo and learned that they once had established contact to the passengers but that communication had broken off. They confirmed that they had sent out a rescue vessel.

At around 6.30am, our contact person called again and informed us that he had been able to re-establish contact to the people in distress. They could see a white vessel in vicinity. Salvamento Maritimo stated shortly afterwards that they had spoken to the passengers as well and suggested that they were still located in Moroccan waters, not far from Tangier. He also stated that they were in contact with the Moroccan authorities.

From 7am onwards our shift team received several calls from our contact person who reported that the situation was getting worse with passengers becoming sea sick and waves growing larger. About forty minutes later, the passengers detected an orange vessel in vicinity and it turned out to be the Spanish rescue vessel Salvamar Alkaid that rescued them and brought them to Spain.
Last update: 12:12 Jun 05, 2015
Credibility: UP DOWN 0
Layers »
  • Border police patrols
    While the exact location of patrols is of course constantly changing, this line indicates the approximate boundary routinely patrolled by border guards’ naval assets. In the open sea, it usually correspond to the outer extent of the contiguous zone, the area in which “State may exercise the control necessary to prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws” (UNCLOS, art. 33). Data source: interviews with border police officials.
  • Coastal radars
    Approximate radar beam range covered by coastal radars operating in the frame of national marine traffic monitoring systems. The actual beam depends from several different parameters (including the type of object to be detected). Data source: Finmeccanica.
  • Exclusive Economic Zone
    Maritime area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which the coastal state exercises sovereign rights for the purposes of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, the seabed and its subsoil and the superjacent waters. Its breadth is 200 nautical miles from the straight baselines from which the territorial sea is measured (UNCLOS, Arts. 55, 56 and 57). Data source: Juan Luis Suárez de Vivero, Atlas of the European Seas and Oceans
  • Frontex operations
    Frontex has, in the past few years, carried out several sea operations at the maritime borders of the EU. The blue shapes indicate the approximate extend of these operations. Data source: Migreurop Altas.
  • Mobile phone coverage
    Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network coverage. Data source: Collins Mobile Coverage.
  • Oil and gas platforms
    Oil and gas platforms in the Mediterranean. Data source:
  • Search and Rescue Zone
    An area of defined dimensions within which a given state is has the responsibility to co-ordinate Search and Rescue operations, i.e. the search for, and provision of aid to, persons, ships or other craft which are, or are feared to be, in distress or imminent danger. Data source: IMO availability of search and rescue (SAR) services - SAR.8/Circ.3, 17 June 2011.
  • Territorial Waters
    A belt of sea (usually extending up to 12 nautical miles) upon which the sovereignty of a coastal State extends (UNCLOS, Art. 2). Data source: Juan Luis Suárez de Vivero, Atlas of the European Seas and Oceans

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