24/11: 11 travellers rescued in Western Med and brought to Tarifa/Spain

25.11.2016 / 13:07 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 24th of November 2016

Case name: 2016_11_24-WM126
Situation: 11 travellers rescued in Western Med and brought to Tarifa/Spain
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Thursday the 24th of November 2016 at 7.35am, the Alarm Phone was called by a contact person from Morocco and informed about a rubber boat that had left Tanger/Morocco at 5am, with 10 men and one woman on board. We were provided with the travellers’ phone number, which the caller was not able to reach anymore. We tried to call the travellers directly at 7.44pm, but without success. At 8am, we received a second phone number from the contact person and via this number we were able to talk to the travellers immediately afterwards. They told us that they could see a red oil tanker and a white-yellow fishing boat and that water was entering their boat. They urged us to alert the Spanish rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo (S.M.). We called S.M. in Tarifa at 8.15am and forwarded the second phone number of the travellers. The rescue organization already knew about this boat and confirmed to us they had already started a rescue operation. We informed the travellers and the contact person accordingly and agreed with the travellers that they call us back in one hour. At 8.50am, we discovered the red oil tanker on vesselfinder.com and also one of S.M.s rescue vessels, the SALVAMAR ALKAID in the same area. At 9.30am, we talked to the travellers again and learned that S.M. had called them and had promised to rescue them soon. As they were not able to see their rescue vessel, we agreed to call them back in 30 minutes. Afterwards, we sent an email to Salvamento Maritimo’s Rescue Coordination Centre in Madrid, to also provide them with all information in written form, which they directly forwarded also to the Moroccan Marine Royale. However, at 9.56am, the Spanish MRCC in Madrid called us and confirmed to us that the 11 travellers had been rescued by S.M. and were brought to Tarifa/Spain. In two other calls with S.M. in Tarifa and with the contact person, both confirmed to us that the travellers had indeed been picked and were on their way to Spain.
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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