29/08: Alarm Phone in contact with two boats in distress between Morocco and Spain

30.08.2017 / 18:55 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 29th of August 2017

Case name: 2017_08_29-WM155
Situation: Alarm Phone in contact with two boats in distress between Morocco and Spain
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Tuesday the 29th of August 2017 the Alarm Phone was in contact with two boats on their way from Morocco to Spain. At 9.13pm, we were provided with the phone of a first boat, with 28 men, 9 women and one baby on board. We immediately called the travellers and learned that they had already been rescued by the Spanish rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo.
At 10.25am, a contact person forwarded to us the phone number of a second boat in distress, with 7 men on board, which had started 2 hours earlier from Acchakar, Morocco, in the direction of Tarifa, Spain. The person who called us had lost contact about 90 minutes ago and informed us that their boat was loosing air. We tried to reach the travellers, but without success. Afterwards, we stayed in touch with the contact person, and at 0.30am, we decided to alert the Spanish rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo by phone and via email. At 1.20am, we once more tried to reach the travellers, but their phone was switched off. However, at 3.15am, we learned from another contact person, that the boat had been intercepted by the Moroccan Marine Royale. We informed Salvamento Maritimo accordingly.
Last update: 09:45 Sep 07, 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

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