03/10: 9 travellers east of Lesvos turned back to Turkey

04.10.2017 / 10:49 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 3rd of October 2017

Case name: 2017_10_03-AEG309
Situation: 9 travellers east of Lesvos turned back to Turkey
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Tuesday, the 3rd of October 2017, at 7:14am, a contact person alerted us to a boat in the Aegean Sea, East of the Greek island of Lesvos, carrying 9 travellers, among them 5 children. At 7:23am and 7:27am, we received new positions via a contact person; they showed that the boat was moving towards the island and was already in Greek waters. The contact person had lost contact with the people on the boat, and we also could not establish direct contact. In the next hours, we reached out to local organizations on Lesvos to ask whether they had any information concerning the boat. At 3:52pm, we called the Coast Guard in Mytilene. The officer in charge said that they had been looking for a boat, which could possibly be the one we were asking about. As they had not encountered the boat, he assumed that the Turkish Coast Guard had picked it up. At 4:07pm we called the Turkish Coast Guard, but we were denied any information on their operations. At 4:48pm, the contact person informed us that for unknown reasons the boat had turned back to Turkey. We tried to find out more, because the position we had received was clearly in Greek water. But as we have been never able to establish a direct contact to the travellers, we could not finally figure out what was exactly happening on that day.
Last update: 11:57 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

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