Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigation – 10th of August 2015Case name
: Vessel in distress in the Central Med, rescued Status of WTM Investigation
: ConcludedPlace of Incident
: Central Mediterranean Sea, Libya Summary of the Case:
: On Monday the 10th of August 2015, Father Mussie Zerai contacted the Alarm Phone and informed us about a vessel in distress in the Central Mediterranean Sea, carrying approximately 85 people. Father Zerai forwarded a satellite phone number and told us that the vessel had left Tripoli/Libya about 10-11 hours earlier. They now were without food and had run out of petrol. We then contacted the travellers directly and asked them to send us their GPS position which, at first, did not work. We then alerted the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome and forwarded all the details we had.
Shortly afterwards, at around 10.40am, we received the coordinates of the vessel which we immediately passed on to MRCC Rome. We also informed the Maltese coastguard about the distress situation. At approximately 11:33m we received updated GPS coordinates from the group at sea and passed them on to the authorities. About an hour later they reported that water was entering their vessel and that they phone was running out of battery. Shortly afterwards they called again to tell us that they could see a large blue vessel in the distance.
At approximately 12:48pm, MRCC Rome confirmed that they had launched a rescue operation and only minutes later the travellers said that the vessel in vicinity was a military vessel. MRCC Rome then also stated that the vessel was a ‘war ship’ that would conduct the rescue operation. In the evening, MRCC Rome confirmed that the rescue operation had been concluded. There were 78 people in total on the vessel, with no fatalities.