13/12 Boat leaving from Temsaman/Morocco with 35 people, rescued to Spain, but several people disappeared

14.12.2017 / 14:54 / Western Mediterranean, Morocco/Spain

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

Case name: 2017_12_13-WM198
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, at 5.10pm, our Alarm Phone shift team was informed by a contact person in Morocco to a boat that had left at 5am, carrying 35 people, including 7 women and 1 child. Our contact person stated that the last time he was able to speak to them, their engine had broken down and their phone might now be out of battery. We were unable to reach the boat directly and contacted Salvamento Maritimo (SM), the Spanish search and rescue organisation. They said that they had received information from the NGO Caminando Fronteras about this case in the morning and were conducting a search operation. At 8.18pm, when we spoke to SM again, they confirmed that one of the several boats that had been rescued, carried 35 people, including 5 women and 1 infant. When we asked our contact person whether this was the boat in question and about the differences in the number of passengers, he stated that it was indeed the boat in question as he had directly spoken to some of the boat-people. He also stated that 3 people had died on the journey. On Twitter, Salvamento Maritimo spoke of 2 people who had gone missing. While we believe that there were fatalities, it is difficult for us to verify whether 2 or more people have lost their lives.
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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