Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 20th of March 2017Case name
: 3 men swimming from Turkey towards Chios Status of WTM Investigation
: ConcludedPlace of Incident
: Aegean SeaSummary of the Cases:
On Monday, the 20th of March 2017, at about 10pm, a contact person informed us about 3 men who had left Turkey around 7.30pm Greek time to try to reach Chios by swimming. They had reached a small Turkish island called Bogaz Adasi, which they had left again around 8pm, heading towards another small Turkish island called Sungkaya Adasi. The swimmers apparently thought that this island was Greek.
When the swimmers had left Bogaz Adasi, the contact person had lost touch with them and had alerted both the Turkish and the Greek Coastguard. The Coastguard had told our contact person that they couldn't do anything.
When we called the Turkish Coastguard at 10.12pm they told us that they had searched for the swimmers, but without success. We tried to call the number of the swimmers, but could not reach them. At 11:10pm, we sent another alert via email to both the Greek and the Turkish coastguard. Our contact person told us that a search and rescue operation involving several boats and a helicopter was ongoing.
Shortly after midnight, another contact person called us about the same case. We passed on all information we had. The second contact person told us that the men had tried to cross already 4 times by boat and that they had been intercepted each time.
On Tuesday, we called both coastguards and our contact person, but there were no news about the swimmers. We learned that 2 of them were Syrians, the third person was from Yemen. On Wednesday, the Turkish coastguard still continued to search for the swimmers, but without any result and without much hope to find them alive. A Greek newspaper reported about the case and the unsuccessful rescue operation.
One week later rumours circulated in Turkish and in social media, that the three swimmers actually survived. It was reported that they had managed to swim back to Turkey. We could not confirm this information, but hope that it is true.
Last update: 21:35 Apr 17, 2017