Large group of Syrian refugees in distress in the Central Med, rescued

08.06.2015 / 17:38 / Off the coast of Libya

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigation – 7th of June 2015

Case name: 2015_06_07-CM23
Situation: Vessel in distress in Libyan waters, rescued
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Central Mediterranean Sea, Libya

Summary of the Case: On Sunday the 7th of June 2015, around noon, the Alarm Phone was alerted to a situation of distress in the Central Mediterranean Sea. A friend of the Alarm Phone had received a distress call and passed on the satellite phone number of the passengers to our shift team. He told us that he had spoken to the passengers at approximately 10:15am. A large group of Syrians (exact number of passengers unknown) was on a vessel North-West of the Libyan coast and their engine had stopped working.

Several attempts to reach the passengers remained unsuccessful. When our shift team contacted the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Rome, we learned that they knew already of the case. They stated that there were 13 vessels in distress at the moment with rescue vessels directed to every case. They also confirmed that a rescue vessel was nearing the vessel in question.

In a phone conversation at about 5pm, MRCC Rome confirmed the rescue of the people on the vessel. The Italian coastguard later on stated that 2731 people were rescued on that Sunday in 15 search and rescue operations.
Last update: 17:44 Jun 15, 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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