13/12 Alarm Phone alerted to boat carrying 53 people from Nador/Morocco, rescued to Spain

14.12.2017 / 14:49 / Western Mediterranean, Morocco/Spain

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 13th of December 2017

Case name: 2017_12_13-WM197
Situation: Alarm Phone alerted to emergency situation in the Western Med
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Western Mediterranean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Wednesday the 13th of December 2017, our Alarm Phone shift team was informed at 4.30pm by a man in Morocco about the departure of a boat, carrying 53 people, including 5 women, who had left from Nador/Morocco at around midnight. He said that they wanted to reach Malaga and last time he spoke to them, at 9am in the morning, they already seemed to have been close to Spain. Since that call, he had lost contact and was worried about their well-being. The boat had an engine. At 5.01pm, we spoke to the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM) and they stated that they had rescued 3 vessels, but none of them matched with the description of the boat in question. They also stated that 4 other boats had been intercepted by Morocco, but they could not give us further detail about the composition of these boats. At 6.36pm, our contact person in Morocco had still not heard about the whereabouts of the people. At 8.04pm, SM told us that the Spanish Guardia Civil had informed them about this boat – the people had arrived in Malaga, and there were 5 women on board. Shortly afterwards, when we spoke to our initial contact person, he confirmed that he had just heard from the boat-people – they had safely reached Malaga on their own.
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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