21/11: Alarm Phone informed about boat in Western Med, probably brought back to Morocco

22.11.2016 / 14:38 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 21st of November 2016

Case name: 2016_11_21-WM125
Situation: Alarm Phone informed about boat in Western Med, probably brought back to Morocco
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Monday the 21st of November 2016 at 5pm, a contact person called the Alarm Phone from Morocco, informing us about 8 travellers who had departed from Tanger/Morocco in the direction of Tarifa/Spain on a rubber boat on the morning of that day. The caller had been in contact with the travellers at 11am, but was not able to reach them afterwards. He forwarded their phone number to us and asked us to alert the Spanish rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo (S.M.). After unsuccessfully trying to reach the travellers directly, we called S.M. at 5.37pm and forwarded all information we had obtained from the contact person. S.M. told us that they had rescued two boats with 11 persons on board on the morning of that day, but they had not heard about a boat with 8 travellers. They promised to call the travellers’ phone number by themselves and also to ask the Moroccan Marine about this case. At 5.41pm we informed the contact person that we had informed S.M. He told us that he might be able to receive another number from the boat and promised to call us back. At 6.20pm, we talked again to him, but he had not yet received another phone number. At 6.35pm, we called S.M. Tarifa again and were told that they had tried to continuously call the number but also did not reach them. The Moroccan Marine had not intercepted any boat on this day. We asked if they could search for the boat with a helicopter, but we were told that S.M. had already observed the sea with a helicopter during the rescue operation of the two other boats and that they had not seen another boat in distress. Beyond that, we were told that due to strong wind and currents the travellers might be back in Morocco. We agreed to call S.M. back if we receive any further news from the contact person. At 6.44pm, we talked again to the contact person, who had not received any further news. Afterwards, we again tried to reach the travellers, but without success. On the next day, we asked some Alarm Phone members in Tanger to find out if there was a boat with 8 men departing from Tanger on the day before, but they were not able to confirm this. However, we also talked again twice to the contact person: In a call at 11am he had no further news, but in another call, at 2.14pm, he told us that the travellers had been rescued by fishermen and had been brought back to Morocco.
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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