16/11: Alarm Phone alerted to boat in distress near Lesvos, with 40 persons on board, including 15 children, all rescued

17.11.2017 / 00:36 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 16th of November 2017

Case name: 2017_11_16-AEG320
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to boat in distress near the Greek island of Lesvos, with 40 persons on board, including 15 children, all rescued
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Thursday the 16th of November 2017, at 5.06am, a contact person provided the Alarm Phone with the phone number and GPS position of 40 travellers in distress in the Aegean Sea, close to the Greek island of Lesvos. Ten minutes later, we called the Greek coastguard on Lesvos, who knew already about the case but asked us to forward the boat’s latest position. At 5.30am and again at 5.40am, we tried to call the travellers directly, but did not reach them. At 5.56am, we talked again to the Greek coastguard and were told that the boat had just been rescued, with many children on board. At 6am, we informed our contact person about the rescue and agreed to try to get a confirmation from the travellers themselves, as he was afraid that they had been picked up by a Frontex vessel. Although we did not reach the travellers directly, at 11.20am, the contact person confirmed to us that the boat he had been in contact with had indeed been rescued and that all travellers were fine. We forwarded the Welcome to Europe Guide for Greece to them, both in English and in Arabic.
Last update: 10:56 Dec 09, 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