28/11: 34 travellers in distress, 28 missing, 6 back in Morocco

29.11.2017 / 18:34 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 28th of November 2017

Case name: 2017_11_28-WM189
Situation: 34 travellers in distress, 28 missing, 6 back in Morocco
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded

Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean

Summary of the Case:

On Thursday, 28th of November, at 8:28pm, we got alerted to a motor boat in distress carrying 34 people, among them 29 men, 4 women and a 5-year old child. The boat had left from Assilah at 5am. We didn’t have a number of the boat and tried to get more information via the contact person.
At 9:28 we called the Spanish rescue authority Salvamento Maritimo in Tarifa. They stated to have searched the whole day for that boat and that they would continue searching.
The next day at 8:10am we called Salvamento again. They had not found the boat, but a rescue boat, navy boats and a helicopter were still searching in the area.
At 8:44am we received the phone number of the boat from the contact person, but the phone was not reachable. At 9:14am we passed the number to Salvamento.
We continuously tried to call the boat, but it remained unreachable. During the next hours we called Salvamento several times and tried to reach the boat. Our contact person did not have news neither. At 6:08pm Salvamento confirmed that they would still search for the boat.
The following day at 09:53 we received information from the contact person that only 6 travellers of the boat had survived. They had managed to reach Moroccan shores with their own forces and were in hospital by then. At 1:36pm we called Salvamento Tarifa, they also had the information that only six people had arrived in Morocco. The remaining 28 people are still missing.
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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