21/03: 2 boats in distress north of the Greek island of Samos; all rescued

22.03.2016 / 16:38 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 21st of March 2016

Case name: 2016_03_21-AEG239
Situation: 2 boats in distress north of the Greek island of Samos; all rescued
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Monday the 21st of March 2016, the Alarm Phone was alerted to 2 groups of travellers in distress north of the Greek island of Samos. We informed the Turkish and the Greek coastguard respectively and in both cases rescue was confirmed afterwards. The first boat had been rescued by the Turkish coastguard and the second by the Greek coastguard.

At 2.30am a contact person alerted the Alarm Phone to a boat in distress northeast of the Greek island of Samos, with 17 people on board (case 1). After several failed attempts, we reached the Turkish coastguard at 2.40am and forwarded the GPS position and the phone number of the travellers. They confirmed to us that they would send a rescue vessel to the boat in distress. At 2.50am we informed the contact person accordingly. At 2.55am we sent an e-mail to the Greek and Turkish UNHCR and informed them about the case. At 3.38am the contact person sent us the latest position of the boat, which we forwarded to the Turkish coastguard immediately afterwards. We were told that the coastguard was working on the case and finally, at 4.11am, the contact person confirmed to us that the travellers had been rescued by the Turkish coastguard.

At 11.45pm of the same day the Alarm Phone received a message via Facebook, informing us about a boat in distress north of the Greek island of Samos (case 2). Although we were not able to speak directly to the travellers, we called the Greek coastguard at around midnight and forwarded the GPS position of the boat in distress. At 0.30am we received an updated position and again forwarded it to the coastguard. In another call at 1.10am the Greek coastguard refused to update us on the situation. However, at 1.22am they called us back and confirmed to us that the people in distress had been rescued.
Last update: 12:10 Apr 09, 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