Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 27th of November 2016Case name
: Father Mussie Zerai informs Alarm Phone about two boats in distress in Central boat; both rescuedStatus of WTM Investigation
: Concluded Place of Incident
: Central Mediterranean SeaSummary of the Case:
On Sunday the 27th of November 2016 at 9.20am, Father Mussie Zerai informed the Alarm Phone about a rubber boat in distress with 110 travellers on board, including 30 women and many children and babies. The boat had already started to deflate and watering was entering. The travellers had mentioned that a helicopter had already spotted them. Father Zerai also forwarded their GPS position and Thuraya satellite phone number to us and we tried to call the phone, but without success. At 9.40am, we checked the phone’s credit, it was at 42 units. At 9.50am, Father Musie Zerai sent us another email, informing us that the travellers had left the Libyan shores at 3am in the morning together with another boat with 100 travellers on board, but that they have lost sight of this boat. As the second boat was not in possession of a satellite phone, the travellers on this boat might not able to forward their position. At 10.15am, we called the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome and forwarded all information we had received so far. The coastguard was already aware of both boats and confirmed that rescue operations had started. At 10.25am we saw that the credit of the travellers’ Thuraya phone had gone down to 39 units, thus they had used the phone again. In the following four hours, we were not able to reach the travellers, yet the credit remained stable at 39 units. At 2.30pm, we again talked to MRCC Rome and they repeated that rescue operations for both boats were ongoing. At 4.20pm the MRCC confirmed to us that the first boat had successfully been rescued, but we did not receive any information on the second boat. At 4.30pm, we informed Father Mussie Zerai that the boat he had initially informed us about has been rescued. Finally, at 5.20pm, MRCC Rome also confirmed to us that all travellers from the second boat had also been rescued.