13/04: Alarm Phone alerted to boat in distress northeast of Samos, rescued to Greece

14.04.2016 / 10:07 / Aegean Sea, Samos

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 13th of April 2016

Case name: 2016_04_13-AEG247
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to boat in distress northeast of Samos, rescued to Greece
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Wednesday the 13th of April 2016 at 3.45am, the Alarm Phone was called by a person, whose parents were on their way from Turkey to the Greek island of Samos. We were provided with the travellers’ phone number and their GPS position, which showed them already in Greek territorial waters. At 3.50am we tried to call the travellers but did not reach them. At 4.06am, we were called directly from a boat by another phone number and heard people screaming, but we were not able to obtain any information from them, due to language problems. At 4.09am we called the Greek coastguard and forwarded the received GPS position and both phone numbers, although we were not sure if they belong to the same boat. At 4.37am one of our Arabic translators called the second phone number and learned that the travellers were on the same boat. Shortly afterwards, he was told that the Greek coastguard had started to rescue the group. We called the person who had initially informed us about the boat in distress. He had not heard about the ongoing rescue operation, but 5 minutes later he called us back and confirmed that his parents had been rescued. We sent him a link to the Welcome to Europe guide on Greece.
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