05/12: 70 travellers in distress in the Central Mediterranean rescued

06.12.2016 / 10:04 / Central Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 5th of December 2016

Case name: 2016_12_05-CM93
Situation: 70 travellers in distress north of Sabratha, rescued by the Italian coast guard
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Central Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Monday, the 5th of December 2016 at 5.35am, a contact person alerted us to a boat north of Sabratha carrying 70 travellers, amongst them families and five children. The contact person new neither the position, nor the satellite phone number of the boat, so all the information we had was that the boat had left Sabratha around 4am. The contact person also passed on a WhatsApp number of one of the people on the boat, but it was not possible to establish contact to this number. At 6.55am we decided to pass on the information we had about time and place of departure to the Italian coast guard. For the rest of the day both we and the contact person kept trying to reach the travellers, but without success. At 3am the following morning we got a confirmation from the contact person that the travellers had been rescued to Catania, Italy. In the morning we also received a WhatsApp message from the person from the boat we had tried to reach. He confirmed that the group had arrived safely.
Last update: 15:54 Jan 15, 2017
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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