20/06: 13 travellers on dinghy rescued in the Western Mediterranean Sea‬‬

21.06.2016 / 00:04 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 20th of June 2016

Case name: 2016_06_20-WM101
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea
Summary of the Cases: On Monday, the 20th of June 2016, the Alarm Phone was alerted to one case in the Western Mediterranean Sea. 13 travellers had left near Cap Spartel, close to Tanger, Morocco on a rubber boat equipped only with paddles and no engine. They had left in two boats, but as one boat had deflated right after the start, the travellers continued their journey in one boat. We were first informed about the case at 4.30am by a contact person, who had a family member on the boat. However, he could only provide us with little information. At 5.17am we managed to talk to the travellers directly. They were extremely nervous in the small, overcrowded boat. They told us that they had left from "Polo 14" at 4pm. We immediately informed the Spanish search and rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo (S.M.) about the case. They said that they were already searching for the boat. We could identify the boat, as we and S.M. had the same contact number of one of the travellers. The S.M. officer was surprised about the number of people on the boat, as usually no more than 7 persons travel on rubber paddle-boats. They also had not heard about the place of departure. We researched about 'Polo 14' and called back S.M. at 5:55am to tell them that Polo 14 was located near Cap Spartel. At 6.15am we reached out to the travellers again. We told them that help was underway and that they should stay calm and try to attract attention. They explained that they had seen a fisher boat pass by thirty minutes earlier. At 9am, we called back S.M. who announced that they had rescued a dinghy some minutes earlier, but they could not say whether this was the boat we had been in touch with. At 9.57 they could give us more precise information: they had rescued 14 persons with the help of a helicopter west of Tanger. At 10.10 S.M. twittered: "Salvamar Gadir rescata 14 hombres(uno con síntomas leves de hipotermia), de patera localizada en #Estrecho. Los está trasladando a #Barbate" and a news report talked about the rescue of 13 men on their way to Cadiz. We tried to reach out to th eboatpeople again but did not reach them. Our initial contact person could not provide us with any new information, as he had also lost contact with the boat. At 11.55 we spoke with S.M. again and they confirmed that the boat rescued was very likely the one we had been in touch with. Until the evening we tried to reach the travellers again, but without success.
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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