Vessel carrying 9 people blocked in the Western Med by a Spanish vessel and intercepted by Moroccan Navy

17.09.2015 / 20:33 / Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigation – 16th of September 2015

Case name: 2015_09_16-WM56
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to a vessel leaving from Morocco that was subsequently blocked at sea by a Spanish vessel
Status of WTM Investigation: Open
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case:: On Wednesday the 16th of September 2015, at 07.22am, the Alarm Phone was called from a boat in international waters between Morocco and Spain, with nine persons on board. Although in distress, a vessel quite close to them refused to help or rescue them. Quite to the contrary, it blocked their way further toward Spain. Some hours later, the Alarm Phone was again in direct contact with the travellers. As it turned out, the vessel that had refused to rescue them was Spanish. It forced them to wait until the Moroccan Navy came who returned them to Morocco. The Alarm Phone is still investigating, whether the Spanish vessel was one of Salvamento Maritimo or of the Spanish Guardia Civil.
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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