Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 24th of January 2016Case name
: Alarm Phone Status of WTM Investigation
: Concluded Place of Incident
: Aegean SeaSummary of the Case:
On Sunday the 24th of January 2016 the Alarm Phone was alerted to a group of travellers with motor problem between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Lesvos. We contacted both the Turkish and the Greek coastguard, but in the end the travellers were able to reach the Greek island of Lesvos independently.
A contact person called the Alarm Phone at 5am and informed us about a boat with 45 people on board, whose engine had stopped working. He forwarded their phone number and GPS coordinates to us, which showed them about 1.5 kilometres off the Turkish coast. Although we did not reach the travellers directly we decided together with the contact person to alert the Turkish coastguard and did so at 5.15am. The Turkish coastguard had already received the same phone number, but with coordinates on land. However, they asked to try to call the travellers again and to urge them to call the Turkish emergency hotline 158. During the next 30 minutes we were neither able to speak to the travellers nor to the contact person, but at 5.45am we talked briefly with the travellers and received updated coordinates form the contact person, which were still located in Turkish territorial waters. We asked the contact person to urge the travellers to call 158. One hour afterwards the contact person called us again and forwarded new coordinates to us. In the meantime, the travellers had reached Greek territorial waters and hence we alerted the Greek coastguard at 6.50am and forwarded all our information. We were again asked to urge the travellers to call the national emergency hotline, and asked the contact person to hand over this plea to the travellers in case of distress. However, at 7.15am the contact person told us that the travellers had safely arrived on Lesvos island. Finally we handed over this information to the Greek Coastguard.