11/1 Alarm Phone alerted to 2 emergency situations in the Aegean Sea, near Samos and Farmakonisi

12.01.2016 / 14:26 / Aegean Sea, near Samos and Farmakonisi

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 11th of January 2016

Case name: 2016_01_11-AEG180
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to 2 emergency situations in the Aegean Sea, near Samos and Farmakonisi
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Monday the 11th of January 2016, our Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to 2 emergency situations in the Aegean region.

At 9.17pm, our shift team received a distress message via Facebook, alerting us to a group of people who had stranded on the Greek island of Samos (case 1). Shortly afterwards we were able to speak to the group directly. They said they were 8 people, including two babies and two elderly persons. They had tried to reach help via the international emergency number 112, but nobody had picked up. We called the Port Authority on Samos but were not able to communicate with them. At 10.20pm one of our Greek-speaking members talked to them again and they said that they knew about the case and had transferred it to the responsible authorities, the police. We then also spoke to the Greek coastguards in Piraeus who confirmed that they knew about the group but could not say when they would be able to rescue the people. A few hours later, at about 1.09am, the group confirmed that they had spotted the Greek coastguards who were trying to rescue them but had difficulties reaching their location. At 3.56am they confirmed that they had been rescued.

At 10.55pm one of our Syrian contact persons alerted us to a group stranded on Farmakonisi island (case 2). There were 40 people who had arrived about 4 hours earlier. We were not able to reach them through the obtained phone numbers. After midnight we established contact to the group via WhatsApp. They said that they were 30 people in total who had arrived on the island at 10pm. They sent updated GPS coordinates which we passed on to the Leros Port Authority at 1.15am. The authorities confirmed that they would send a boat to rescue them, presumably in the morning. We informed the group that they would be rescued but that it might take a long while. So we advised them to stay together. In the morning we were unable to reach them but spoke to the Leros Port Authority. They confirmed that they had sent out a boat but were not certain what time they would reach them. At 10.10am we received the confirmation from the people that they were being rescued.
Last update: 16:41 Jan 18, 2016
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