04/04: Boat moving toward Agathonisi in distress, returned to Turkey

05.04.2018 / 14:57 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 4th of April 2018

Case name: 2018_04_04-AEG367
Situation: Boat in distress in the Aegean Sea
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Wednesday the 4th of April 2018, at 11.34pm, our shift team received the information through a contact person that a boat was in severe distress between Turkey and Agathonisi Island. Our contact person had lost contact to the boat about 10 minutes earlier, and there were 25 people in the group. We tried to contact the people in distress directly but could also not reach them. At 11.51pm we spoke to the Greek coastguards and informed them about the distress situation. At 1.22am, the Greek coastguards called us, informing us that they had reached the boat-people but failed to communicate with them. They asked us to speak to them in order to receive an updated GPS position. We were unable to reach the boat directly, which we told the Greek coastguards at 1.32am. They informed us that they had searched the area off Agathonisi and had not found any boat. Over the following hours we try repeatedly to get in touch with them, to no avail. At 9.05am, our contact person informed us that the boat had been intercepted by the Turkish coastguards. We are trying to receive more information on whether they were in need or rescue or whether this was a pull-back operation.
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