24/07 Alarm Phone alerted to 1 emergency situation in the Western Med, rescued by helicopter to Spain

25.07.2016 / 13:46 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 24th of July 2016

Case name: 2016_07_24-WM109
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to 1 emergency situation in the Western Med
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Sunday the 24th of July 2016, the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone was alerted to one distress situation in the Western Mediterranean Sea. At 7.35am we received a call from a contact person but it was impossible to properly communicate. When listening to the recorded call we could make out that the caller had tried to alert us to a friend of his who was travelling on a boat. At 8.17am we were finally able to re-establish communications with the contact person and we found out that he knew about a boat carrying about 10 people. We also received a phone number of one of the passengers but it was unclear when and where they had left. At 8.39am we were able to get through to the travellers on the boat. They told us that they had left from a certain location in Tangier toward Tarifa and were in need of rescue. We passed on the details to the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo and they took on the case. Shortly afterwards we found out that they were in fact 7 people who had left at about 2am. At 9.33am, Salvamento Maritimo confirmed to us that they were in direct contact with the boat and had sent a rescue vessel as well as a helicopter. We informed the travellers about the ongoing rescue operation and urged them to stay calm. At 10.15am we learned that the travellers could see the helicopter. At 10.55am Salvamento Maritimo confirmed that all 7 people had been rescued by the helicopter and were being brought to Spain. Shortly afterwards we also informed our initial contact person about the good news.
Last update: 09:30 Aug 18, 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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