Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 18th of September 2015Case name
: 4 boats in distress in the Aegean Sea, near the Greek islands of Samos and LesvosStatus of WTM Investigation
: Concluded Place of Incident
: Aegean SeaSummary of the Cases
: On Friday the 18th of September 2015 the Alarm Phone dealt with four emergency situations in the Aegean Sea, near the Greek islands of Samos and Lesvos.
At 00.40am a contact person sent us a WhatsApp message with a phone number of a group of 35 travellers and their coordinates, which showed them between the Turkish mainland and the Greek island of Samos (case 1). We tried to contact the travellers, but without success. As their position was very close to the Turkish coast, we alerted the Turkish search and rescue coordination centre in Ankara, both by phone and by e-mail at 1am. During the night, we were not able to speak to the travellers again. At 6.10am the Turkish coastguard reported to us that they had not been able to find a vessel at the position in question. We tried to contact the boat again, but could not reach them. At 7.48am a contact person who had been in direct contact with the group wrote us an email. The group had safely and independently arrived on the Greek island of Samos.
At 6.11am the case of 41 travellers, whose engine had broken down between the Turkish coast and Lesvos/Greece, was forwarded to us via WhatsApp (case 2). We called the group and they were ok so far. We advised them to call the Alarm Phone in case of distress and provided them with our number. At about 9am we had contact with them again. They wrote that they had safely arrived on Lesvos. We sent a link to w2eu.info to them so that they could inform themselves about the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in Greece and Europe.
Nawal Soufi’s activist collective e-mailed us at about 10am, providing us with the GPS position and a phone number of a boat in distress between Kuşadası/Turkey and the Greek island of Samos (case 3). We tried to get in touch with the travellers in the following hours via phone and WhatsApp, but without success. At 1pm we realized that they were online again at WhatsApp and asked them if they were fine, but received no answer.
At 11am Nawal Soufi’s network informed us about another SOS call they had received and forwarded a phone number to us (case 4). We immediately called the number and spoke to a group of 45 travellers in distress, whose engine had broken down on their way from Atatürk/Turkey to the Greek island of Samos. We called the Greek coastguard in Piraeus at 11.30am and provided them with an approximate position of the boat. At 12.20pm we again called the boat. The travellers were still at sea, but not in distress anymore. In a last call at 2.53pm they confirmed that they had safely arrived on Samos in the meantime.
Last update: 17:18 Sep 23, 2015