29/08 Alarm Phone alerted to case of distress off Libya, rescued to Italy

30.08.2016 / 22:07 / Central Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 29th of August 2016

Case name: 2016_08_29CM81
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to boat in distress in the Central Mediterranean Sea
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Central Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Monday the 29th of August 2016, an Alarm Phone member was contacted by someone calling from a Thuraya satellite phone at 8.17am. While no information could be shared in the initial call, we were able to upload the satellite phone with credit, as it had nearly no credit left. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the phone, we received a call from the Thuraya phone at 8.55am, but communications were difficult and eventually broke down. It was clear, however, that the caller was on a boat. At 9.02am we called the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome (MRCC) and passed on the phone number. At 9.11am we received a call from a contact person in Morocco who reported that a friend of his had reached out to him with the same Thuraya number to inform him that he had successfully made it onto an Italian boat after having left Libya on a boat. We tried to call the phone repeatedly but it was not reachable. Also we saw that its credit had not gone down, so it had not been used in the meantime. At 5.35pm MRCC Rome confirmed that the boat in question had been rescued by an Italian vessel. All in all, about 5.500 people were rescued on the day.
Last update: 17:46 Sep 17, 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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