Vessel in the Western Med intercepted by the Moroccan Navy

19.08.2015 / 10:46 / Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations 18th of August 2015
Case name: 2015_08_18-WM44
Situation: Vessel intercepted by the Moroccan Navy
Status of WTM Investigations: Concluded
Place of Incidents: Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco

Summary of the Cases: On the 18th of August 2015, our shift team received a call from a person who informed us about a vessel in distress in the Western Mediterranean Sea. He told us that his relative was amongst a group of 9-10 travellers, including one woman and one child, who had left Morocco in the night. When we called the group they told us that they could see the Spanish coast already. However, due to loud winds it was difficult to fully understand them. Shortly afterwards the travellers informed us that they had already been intercepted by the Moroccan Navy and were in the process of being returned to Morocco. They also reported that the Moroccan authorities had beaten some of them with batons. Later on we were able to re-establish contact with one of the travellers. He was in prison in Tangier and told us that the authorities refused to release them. One of our Alarm Phone members went to the police station and then learned that the group had been released in the meantime.
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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