21/03: Boat intercepted on its way to Chios‬

22.03.2017 / 14:47 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 21st of March 2017

Case name: 2017_03_21-AEG283
Situation: Boat intercepted on its way to Chios
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Cases: In the night from Monday to Tuesday, a contact person informed us about a 35 travellers who had attempted to reach Chios from Turkey on a rubber boat and who had been attacked and intercepted by the Turkish Coastguard. All travellers had been taken on board of the coastguard vessel. The contact person forwarded us a voice message by one of the travellers, who explained what had happened:
"We reached the Territorial Water of Greece. The ship and two boats followed us. They damaged the boat and the motor. We felt down in the water and we drowned. They have just picked us up and now we are arrested in the ship."
Later on Tuesday morning, we tried to reach the travellers, but both numbers we had were not available. At 11.43am we finally reached one of the travellers. They were in a police station. Later in the afternoon, we reached them again and they told us exactly what had happened:
The travellers had been about 500m away from Greek territorial waters when 5 boats of the Turkish coastguard stopped them by throwing ropes on their boat and finally by blocking their way. The travellers were then taken on board of one of the coastguard ships, which brought them to a harbour, where their fingerprints were taken. After waiting for more than 4 hours they were sent to the police station. From there, they were transferred to the centre of Izmir. Three pregnant women who were amongst the travellers were brought to a hospital, where one received immediate treatment (she was already in the 9th month of her pregnancy). We brought them in contact with refugee support NGOs in Izmir.
Last update: 14:51 Apr 17, 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