7/11: 17 travellers stranded on Kastellorizo

08.11.2016 / 13:33 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 7th of November 2016

Case name: 2016_11_07-AEG270
Situation: 17 travellers stranded on Kastellorizo
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Saturday the 7th of November 2016, at 4.19am, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted by a contact person to a group of 17 travellers, including nine children and seven women, one of them pregnant, stranded on the Greek island Kastellorizo. At 5.07am our contact person informed us that the group split up, as three of them went to look for the police station. At 5.19am we called the port police on the island who informed us that their vessel was on the way to where the group of travellers were stranded. When the vessel arrived, however, they informed that they could not carry out the rescue, as it would be too dangerous to approach the rocks close to the coast. The travellers were told that they would have to walk to the police station, but as the pregnant woman was in a bad condition, it was not possible for her to climb the hill and reach the road. Our shift team tried to communicate this to the port police, but experienced that they hung up when they understood why we called. The group of travellers reported experiencing the same thing when they tried to call the port police themselves. At 9.17 am we managed to talk to the port police again, and they told us that they would send another boat to the place to check the situation. The boat arrived, but only to turn around, insisting that the travellers should walk to the police station. In the mean time our shift team was in contact with the one of three people, who informed us that they reached the police station. At 9.40am we alerted the Greek coast guard in Piraeus to the situation of the travellers. Our shift team stayed in close contact with the group, and learned that the situation of the pregnant woman was getting worse. The group also reported that it was very cold, and they were all tired. We contacted a doctor on the island, and alerted him to the condition of the pregnant woman. The travellers started walking up the hill towards the road, and at 1.38pm we informed the port police that they were trying to get to the police station, and asked them to pick them up by car. The port police, however, responded that there are no cars on the island, and that the hospital does not even have an ambulance; something which turned out not to be true. At 3.51pm the port police confirmed to us that they found the travellers, and that they would make sure the pregnant woman, together with an elderly person, was taken to the hospital. The other travellers were told to walk to the police station. At 4.20pm the pregnant woman confirmed to us that help had arrived.
Last update: 19:00 Nov 23, 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