09/12: 3 travellers intercepted by the Moroccan Navy

10.12.2017 / 11:14 / Western Mediterranean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 9th of December 2017

Case name: 2017_12_09-WM195
Situation: 3 travellers leaving from Tangier, intercepted by the Moroccan Navy
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean
Summary of the Case:

On Saturday, the 9th of December, at 12.16pm, the Alarm Phone shift received a call from a contact person, alerting us to three travellers who had left from south of Tangier at 4am. They had left in an inflatable boat without a motor. His last contact to the travellers was at 6am, at which time they had been doing alright, but he had not been able to reach them since. He forwarded us the phone number of the travellers, but we also did not manage to reach them. We therefore agreed with the contact person that we would alert the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM). When we called them at 1.52pm, they informed us that the Moroccan Navy had intercepted a boat with three travellers earlier that morning. They could not confirm that this was the same boat, but they refused to begin a search and rescue operation without further information about the location of the travellers. At 3.42pm the contact person confirmed to us that his friends had been intercepted by the Moroccan Navy.
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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