30/05 Alarm Phone alerted to vessel in distress in the Aegean Sea, arrived in Greece

31.05.2017 / 19:29 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 30th of May 2017

Case name: 2017_05_30-AEG286
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to 1 emergency situation in the Aegean Sea
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Tuesday the 30th of May 2017, shortly after midnight, the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone was alerted by a contact person to a rubber boat in the Aegean Sea, carrying approximately 30 people, including women and children. Based on the forwarded coordinates, we localised the boat already in Greek waters, near the Greek island of Inousses/Chios. We contacted one of the travellers via WhatsApp but did not receive a response. The Greek coastguards confirmed to us at about 1am that they had received a distress call about this case and would search for the boat. We received new GPS coordinates of the boat and passed them on to the Chios Port Authority at 1.24am. Shortly afterwards our contact person informed us that the people had reached the island and were able to move on. In turn, we informed the Greek coastguards. At 2.24am the Greek authorities contacted us, asking for further information about the case. Our contact person informed us at 2.33am that the group required help as it was raining and one of the children was sick. At 2.55am, the coastguards confirmed that they would send an ambulance to the group. At 5.38am, our contact person told us that the group had been found and transferred by the local police. However, we also heard later on that one man had jumped into the water from the boat in the attempt to swim ashore. So far, we have no further information on where and in what condition he is.
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