18/08: 10 travellers returned to Morocco

19.08.2017 / 14:04 / Wes

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 18th of August 2017

Case name: 2017_08_18-WM153
Situation: 10 travellers returned to Morocco by themselves, several deported
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean

Summary of the Cases: On Friday the 18th of August at 7.30pm the Alarm Phone was alerted by a contact person to a boat carrying 10 travellers. They had left from Tangier four and a half hours earlier, and were tired and had lost direction. The contact person had already contacted the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM), but had problems communicating with them as they didn’t speak French.
At 8.08pm we managed to reach the travellers, and immediately after we alerted SM, who told us that they were already looking for the boat. At 9.00pm a contact person informed us that the travellers had decided to turn around and go back to Morocco, and that they had also called the Moroccan navy, but that they had not come to help them. After this it was no longer possible to establish contact to the travellers. At 10.09pm we called SM, who informed us that they had spotted the boat one mile of the Moroccan coast, and therefore handed over the case to the Moroccan navy. We then called the Moroccan navy who confirmed that they had received the information from SM, and that they were searching for the boat. At 10.25 the contact person informed us that the travellers were safe and had reached the Moroccan coast by themselves. Once they reached the shore they were taken to the police station by the military where their fingerprints were taken, and the people who did not have papers were deported to the south of the country.
Last update: 19:02 Sep 06, 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

Related Reports

11:29 Jul 12, 2017 / Western Mediterranean Sea Kms
11/07: 11 travellers paddling from Morocco to Spain, rescued to Tarifa
19:14 Jun 16, 2015 / Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco Kms
Vessel between Morocco and Spain, rescue unconfirmed
12:24 May 29, 2015 / Western Mediterranean Sea, Morocco Kms
8 people in distress, intercepted by Moroccan Navy
11:30 Dec 07, 2016 / Western Mediterranean Sea Kms
06/12 Travellers intercepted by Moroccan Navy between Tangier and Tarifa