Vessel carrying 11 people in distress in Western Med, rescued

15.07.2015 / 20:48 / Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations 14th of July 2015

Case name: 2015_07_14-WM30
Situation: Vessel in distress between Morocco and Spain
Status of WTM Investigations: Concluded
Place of Incidents: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Cases On Tuesday the 14th of July, at about 2pm, the Alarm Phone shift team was contacted from passengers on a vessel in the Western Mediterranean Sea, carrying 11 people, including a woman and a baby. They had left three hours ago and said that they were very tired. We reached out the Spanish rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo and passed on the obtained information. Salvamento then contacted us shortly afterwards, stating that they could not get through to the travellers. We were also unable to re-establish our communication with them.

At 4:38pm, we spoke to Salvamento Maritimo again who informed us that the Moroccan Navy had intercepted a vessel with 11 people on board. However, they were uncertain whether this was the vessel in question as the intercepted travellers were all men which would not match the initial description we received. At about 6pm, we called the travellers again and this time somebody picked up. However, communication was difficult and eventually broke off so that no further information could be obtained.

A friend of the Alarm Phone went to the police station in Morocco and found out that there were 3 vessel in total that day, two carrying 9 people respectively and one carrying 11. All three vessels were intercepted and returned to Morocco.
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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