17/10: Boat carrying 47 people near Kastellorizo, rescued to Turkey

18.10.2017 / 12:30 / Aegean Sea, Kastellorizo

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 17th of October 2017

Case name: 2017_10_17-AEG314
Situation: Boat rescued to Turkey
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Cases: On Tuesday the 17th of October 2017, at 3.42am, our Alarm Phone shift team was alerted by a contact person to a boat in severe distress, near the Greek island of Kastellorizo. Shortly after we received a number of one of the people on board and the information that the Turkish coastguards had already been informed. There were 47 people on the boat, including 26 children, 10 women, 7 of whom were pregnant, and 11 men. Via WhatsApp we reached out to the boat but did not hear back. At 3.58am, we received updated GPS coordinates through our contact person. He said that the boat was capsizing. Following their GPS position, they were very close to the borderline between Turkey and Greece. In a conversation with the Greek coastguards, they stated that the boat was in Turkish waters and they had informed the Turkish coastguards. We also reached out to the Turkish authorities, at 4.20am. They said that they would send out a search vessel. The Greek coastguards informed us at 4.28am that a Turkish rescue operation had been launched minutes earlier. Also, they stated that there were two boats in distress. We passed these information on to our contact person at 4.35am. After several hours and many attempts to reach the Turkish authorities, they confirmed at 8.45am that the rescue had been successful and all people safely brought to land.
Last update: 11:35 Oct 29, 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