12/03: Boat carrying 36 people in distress south of Lesvos, rescued to Greece

13.03.2018 / 11:04 / Lesvos, Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 12th of March 2018

Case name: 2018_03_12-AEG345
Situation: Boat in distress in the Aegean Sea
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Monday the 12th of March 2018, our Alarm Phone shift team was informed at 3.52am by a contact person to a boat in distress in the Aegean Sea. We received a GPS position, a mobile phone number, as well as the information that there were 36 people on the boat, including 11 children. The boat’s engine had stopped working. We could see on our maps that they had already reached Greek water and were south of Lesvos Island. We were able to speak to the travellers at 4.06am and though we could not hear them properly, we could make out that they were calling for help. At 4.08am, we contacted the Greek coastguards and forwarded the position of the boat – they promised to conduct a SAR operation. We passed this information back to the travellers. At 4.22am, the people from the boat told us via WhatsApp that they required urgent help. Our contact person told us at 4.33am that the people on the boat could see lights from Lesvos Island. At 5.08am, the Greek coastguards confirmed that they found the boat in distress and were conduction a SAR operation. At 6.22am, people on Lesvos confirmed that the boat had safely landed.
Last update: 09:44 Mar 18, 2018
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