Alarm Phone in contact with 4 boats in distress near the Greek islands of Samos and Lesvos

19.09.2015 / 21:09 / Aegean Sea, Greek islands of Samos and Lesvos

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 18th of September 2015

Case name: 2015_09_18-AEG74
Situation: 4 boats in distress in the Aegean Sea, near the Greek islands of Samos and Lesvos
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary 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
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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