08/12: 35 travellers rescued by the Moroccan Navy

09.12.2017 / 11:12 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 8th of December 2017

Case name: 2017_12_08-WM194
Situation: 35 travellers leaving from Nador, intercepted by the Moroccan Navy
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean
Summary of the Case:

On Friday, the 8th of December, at 9.05am, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted by a contact person to 35 travellers, amongst them four women and two children, on their way from Nador to Spain. We reached the travellers, who informed us that their engine was not working, and asked us to call the coast guard. At 9.48am we called the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM) and passed on the information we had. At 10.03am we spoke to the travellers again. They told us that water was now entering the boat. They tried to send us their position, but due to poor reception, this was not possible. At 10.40am the contact person asked us to alert the Moroccan rescue authorities, as the boat was losing air, and people started panicking, so at 10.42am we passed on the information we had to MRCC Rabat. We called back SM at 10.43am to find out about new developments in the case. They informed us that a Frontex vessel as well as an aircraft were searching for the boat. In several calls with the travellers they informed us about a vessel they could see, which they described as a navy vessel. The vessel stopped before getting close to the travellers, and left the scene again. We immediately called SM to pass on this information, which could be useful in order to localise the travellers. At 12.12pm we talked to the travellers again. They could no longer see the vessel, but told us that there was an aircraft above them, which we also informed SM about. When we talked to SM, they told us that the Moroccan authorities would take over the search and rescue operation, as the travellers were in Moroccan waters. At 1.04pm we called MRCC Rabat, who confirmed that they had already sent a rescue vessel to the position. Neither we, nor the contact person were able to reach the travellers anymore, but in a call to MRCC Rabat at 2.43pm, they informed us that they were carrying out the rescue operation. When we called them back at 5.03pm, they confirmed that the rescue had been carried out, and that all the travellers were safe. This was shortly after confirmed by the contact person.
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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