23/03: boat with 11 passengers in distress on the way to Tarifa

24.03.2017 / 11:32 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 23rd of March 2017

Case name: 2017_03_23-WM135
Situation: boat with 11 passengers in distress on the way to Tarifa, picked up by the Moroccan Navy
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Thursday, the 23rd of March 2017, at 3.04am our Alarm Phone shift team received a call from a traveller in a boat in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The traveller explained that he and his 10 fellow travellers were heading towards Tarifa, Spain. At 3.36am we talked to the traveller again and he asked us to call for help, as the boat was not moving any longer and as water was entering the boat. At 3:41am we reached the Spanish Search and Rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo (SM) in Tarifa who told us that they were already working on the case. We tried to get in touch with the travellers again, but could not establish a phone connection. At 7.30am SM informed us that they had rescued a boat, but that it was not the one we had been in touch with, as there were 19 and not 11 people on board. Two hours later, we called SM again and learned that the Moroccan Navy had rescued the 11 travellers around 7.20.
In the afternoon, just before 4pm, we eventually managed to reach our contact person from the boat, who confirmed that they had been rescued and brought back to Tangier, Morocco.
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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