05/03: 150 travellers stranded on Greek island of Farmakonisi

06.03.2016 / 19:42 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 05th of March 2016

Case name: 2016_03_05-AEG225
Situation: 150 travellers stranded on Greek island of Farmakonisi
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Saturday the 5th of March 2016, the Alarm Phone was alerted to a large group of 150 travellers in distress on the Greek island of Farmakonisi. The stranded travellers were transferred to the island of Leros by the rescue vessel ILIAS T after we had alerted the port authorities on Leros.

At 10.15pm the Alarm Phone received a message on Facebook about a group of 40 travellers stranded on the Greek island of Farmakonisi. We called the group and they informed us that they were rescued by Greek Navy and were brought to Farmakonisi and held in 2 rooms. Between 2am and 2.30am, various contact persons informed us via WhatsApp and Facebook about more people arriving on Farmakonisi. At 2.10am we called the people on the island and they informed us that the number of people stranded on Farmakonisi had increased to 150, including pregnant women and children. We asked the group to call 112, and informed them that rescue operations usually happen during daytime, but we assured them that we would call the coastguard as well to inform them about the situation. Afterwards, we called Leros Port Authorities and they confirmed that they were already aware of the stranded travellers. At 5am we sent an email to the coastguard, UNHCR and MOAS, describing the situation in detail. At 10am we sent a WhatsApp message to the people on the island, but they did not answer. However, we checked marinetraffic.com and noticed that the rescue vessels ILIAS T and VOS GRACE had already approached the island, so we concluded that the rescue operation had started. We tried contacting different numbers from the people on the island but they were either out of coverage area or did not pick up. At 12.30pm we called Leros Port Authorities and they confirmed that the last group of 30 people out of 150 would be rescued within the next 2 hours to the island of Leros.
Last update: 10:52 Mar 11, 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

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