18/03: Group of 28, including many women and children, stranded on Greek island of Vatos; all rescued to Chios

19.03.2017 / 14:53 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 18th of March 2017

Case name: 2017_03_18-AEG281
Situation: Group of 28, including many women and children, stranded on Greek island of Vatos; all rescued to Chios
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Saturday the 18th of March 2017 at about 7pm, the Alarm Phone was alerted to a group of travellers in distress, stranded on the shores of the Greek island of Vatos. At 7.15pm, we were able to speak directly to the travellers and learned that they were a group of 28, including many women and children. At 7.25pm, we forwarded the travellers’ position to the Greek Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Piraeus via email and also called the Greek JRCC at 7.30pm. They promised to take care of the stranded travellers. Afterwards, we were not able to reach the travellers again. At 9.25pm and at 10.25pm, we called the coastguard again and asked for news, but only learned that it would take some time until a rescue vessel reached the travellers on the island. At 11.15pm, we called the port authorities on the neighbouring island Chios. They knew about the case and informed us that they were expecting the travellers to arrive soon on Chios, as a coastguard vessel had been send to pick them up. One hour later, at 0.22am, we talked again to the port authorities and they confirmed to us that the travellers had safely arrived on Chios. On the afternoon of the next day, we called the contact person who had initially informed us about the case and he confirmed to us that all travellers were doing well.
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