04/04 Alarm Phone alerted to 1 emergency situation in the Western Med

05.04.2016 / 00:27 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 4th of April 2016

Case name: 2016_04_04-WM87
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to 1 emergency situation in the Western Med
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Med

Summary of the Case: On Monday the 4th of April 2016, our Alarm Phone shift team was alerted by a contact person to a vessel in distress near Ceuta, carrying 8 people. Following the account of our contact person, they had been at sea already for several hours. We tried to reach the boat at 7.02am but were unable to speak to them. At 7.04am we called the Spanish search and rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo and informed them about the case. At 8.14am, our contact person reported that the boat had been intercepted by the Moroccan Navy and the people were in the process of being returned to Morocco.

We then established contact to some of the boat-people. They reported that they had been very close to Ceuta already and had reached out to us as they had problems with their boat. They then said that the Moroccan Navy appeared and returned them to Morocco, then deporting them to Marrakesh. While we cannot verify their account, this seems to have been a forcible pull-back by the Moroccan authorities.
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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