27/07: Boat carrying 50 people rescued to Lesvos Island

28.07.2017 / 20:50 / Lesvos/Greece

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 27th of July 2017

Case name: 2017_07_27-AEG296
Situation: Boat rescued to Greece
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Thursday the 27th of July 2017, one of our contact persons informed our shift team at 7.17am, about a boat in distress south of Lesvos Island. The boat was carrying about 50 people and we were told that water was entering the boat. We were able to locate the boat based on GPS coordinates that we had received, but we were unable to reach the travellers directly. At 7.25am, we informed the Greek coastguards and they stated that this might be the boat they had already been alerted to. While trying to reach the boat-people several times, we were unable to get through. Our contact person, however, seemed to be able to communicate with them and passed on several voice messages from the passengers, and it was clear that they were very anxious and in a dangerous situation. In another voice message that we received from the boat at 7.54am, we heard a lot of shouting and voices saying in Arabic that they were scared as water was still entering the boat. We received updated GPS coordinates which we passed on to the Greek authorities at 8am. They confirmed that they were carrying out a Search and Rescue operation. At 8.13am, our contact person informed us that the Greek coastguards had arrived at the scene of distress and had rescued the travellers. He confirmed that they were all doing fine.
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