22/03: Alarm Phone called by 16 people on rubber boat, intercepted by Moroccan Marine Royal

23.03.2016 / 16:52 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 22nd of March 2016

Case name: 2016_03_22-WM87
Situation: Alarm Phone called by 16 people on rubber boat, intercepted by Moroccan Marine Royal
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Tuesday the 22nd of March 2016 at 4.33am, the Alarm Phone was directly called from a boat in the Western Mediterranean Sea, which had left from Tanger Med/Morocco about one hour earlier. We were told that there were 4 women, 10 men and 2 children on board and that they were paddling with a rubber boat in the direction of Spain. They asked us to help them and to call the Spanish coastguard Salvamento Maritimo, however they also told us that they were not in distress right now. We decided not to call the Salvamento Maritimo immediately, as the travellers’ boat had certainly not yet arrived in Spanih territorial waters. Between 4.40am and 5.10am we tried to call the travellers back every ten minutes, but did not reach them. Finally, at 5.15am we were again able to speak to them again. We tried to find out if they were in distress and if we should alert the Spanish coastguard. Due to difficult communication we decided to ask a French-speaking member of the Alarm Phone to call them back. At 5.38am this person wrote to us that she was not able to speak to the travellers yet. However, at 5.48am, she reached the people and was told that the Moroccan Marine Royal had intercepted the group.
Last update: 21:43 Apr 14, 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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