Vessels in distress in the Western Med, intercepted by Morocco

09.08.2015 / 19:45 / Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations 8th of August 2015

Case name: 2015_08_08-WM39
Situation: Vessel in distress in Western Med, intercepted by Moroccan Navy
Status of WTM Investigations: Concluded
Place of Incidents: Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco

Summary of the Cases: On Saturday the 8th of August 2015, at approximately 7.14am, the Alarm Phone was contacted by a group of five travellers, four men and one woman, who had left from Cap Spartel/Morocco during the night on a rubber vessel without an engine. They asked for help and also said that the woman was sick. We contacted that Spanish safe and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo and informed them about the emergency case. Salvamento then reached out to the passengers who, in turn, told us that Salvamento would send a rescue vessel. At about 8.03am, the people were still in distress but stated that they could see a large white vessel in vicinity. About half an hour later Salvamento confirmed that the people were intercepted by the Moroccan Navy. A few minutes later we were able to reach the travellers again who also confirmed the interception.
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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