Two boats in distress in the Western Med, intercepted by Moroccan Navy

15.09.2015 / 08:26 / Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigation – 14th of September 2015

Case name: 2015_09_14-WM54
Situation: Two boats intercepted by Moroccan Navy
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case:: In the early morning of Monday the 14th of September 2015, the Alarm Phone was called directly from a rubber boat in the Western Mediterranean Sea, with ten persons on board. The boat lost air shortly after it had started its journey from Tangier/Morocco to Tarifa/Spain and the travellers asked for immediate help. During this call, a boat, presumably from the Moroccan Navy, passed by but did not interfere. The Alarm Phone forwarded these information to the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo in Tarifa, but as the boat was still in Moroccan waters, they passed these detail on to the Moroccan Navy. Although further attempts to get in contact with the travellers on board failed, in the early afternoon our contact person in Morocco confirmed that the travellers had been rescued and brought to the Commissariat in Tangier. They were not in a good condition at all and feared to be deported to Casablanca.

In the following night, at 11.15pm, a contact person in Morocco alerted us to a boat in distress with 14 people on board, including one child. They started at 8pm from Malabata beach near Tangier, but soon their boat was leaking and water was entering. We immediately informed Salvamento Maritimo in Tarifa and established direct contact to the travellers on board. As the boat began to sink, they asked us to call the Moroccan Coast Guard as well. At about 2am in the morning, contact persons in Morocco informed us that the Moroccan Navy had saved the 14 people.
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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