15/06: Many travellers rescued in the Western Mediterranean Sea to Spain

16.06.2017 / 14:26 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 15th of June 2017

Case name: 2017_06_15-WM139
Situation: Boat with 44 persons from Morocco rescued and brought to Spain
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Thursday the 15th of June 2017, at 9.28 am, a contact person informed the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone about a boat that had left from Morocco at 6am in the morning to Spain. The contact person, who had friends among the passengers, told us that there were 44 persons on board, including 20 women. We didn't understand what place they left from exactly. We couldn't reach the people on the boat, and later also lost touch with the contact person. At noon, we started to follow the Spanish NGO caminandofronteras on Twitter, as they had news about several boats in the Western Mediterranean. They also twittered about the boat with 44 passengers on board. Around 1.30pm we got in touch with the Spanish Search and Rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo (SM), who was already informed about the case, but also didn't know where the people started from. However, their helicopter had just spotted a boat with about 40 persons on board a few minutes ago and they asked us to call back later. One hour later, we called them back and they told us that they were about to rescue the boat they had spotted Northwest of Tanger. Later SM called us back to confirm that they had rescued 43 people, among whom were 21 women. They said that everyone was ok and that they would take them to Barbate, near Tarifa in Spain. The boat we had followed was not the only boat that was rescued in the Western Mediterranean that day. Helena Maleno from caminandofronteras informed on Twitter about 238 persons in total who had risked their lives and had made it to Spain. The rescue organisation SOS Mediterraneo sent via Twitter news about more than 1150 persons rescued that day in the Mediterranean Sea, of whom 268 in The Western Mediterranean, 88 in the Aegean Sea and more than 800 in the Central Mediterranean Sea.
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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