3/1: 33 travellers intercepted by the Moroccan Marine Royal

04.01.2017 / 10:33 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 3rd of January 2017

Case name: 2017_01_03-WM130
Situation: 33 travellers in distress on their way to Motril intercepted by the Moroccan Marine Royal
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Tuesday, the 3rd of January 2017 at 12.05am, the Alarm Phone was alerted by a contact person to a group of 33 travellers, amongst them four women, on their way to Spain. They had left Morocco at 4am from a beach close to Nador. Communication with the boat was very difficult due to problems with the connection. At 2.45pm we passed on the information about the vessel to the Spanish search and rescue organisation, Salvamento Maritimo (SM), in Almeria. They informed us that they were already searching for the boat, using their search and rescue aircraft, and that they already had rescue vessels in the area, carrying out the rescue of another boat. When we later managed to establish contact to the travellers, they informed us that water was leaking into the boat, and that some of the people were sick. At 4.40 we talked to the travellers again, and they told us that an aircraft was circling over them, but that no vessel was coming to rescue them. Right after this call we received an email from SM, explaining that the Moroccan MRCC had requested to carry out the rescue of this boat. As the boat was in international water, we tried to put pressure on SM by stressing the urgency of the situation, but they insisted that they could not carry out the rescue operation, as the boat was in the Moroccan search and rescue zone. At 7.30pm we got a confirmation from the Moroccan Marine Royal and SM that the boat had been rescued and all the travellers were safe. They were all taken back to Nador.
Last update: 16:39 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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