15/03 Boat in distress with about 65 people on board, including 25 children, safely arrived on the Greek island of Lesvos

16.03.2018 / 09:45 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations - 15th of March 2018

Case name: 2018_03_15-AEG346
Situation: Boat in distress with about 65 people on board, including 25 children, safely arrived on the Greek island of Lesvos
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Thursday, the 15th of March 2018 at 2am, a contact person informed the Alarm Phone about a boat in distress south of the Greek island of Lesvos, with approximately 65 people on board, including 25 children. We also received an audio file directly from the boat, which showed that the travellers were facing very high waves and that water was already entering their boat. The travellers also asked to alert the Turkish coastguard in this voice message. We immediately tried to call the travellers via phone but did not reach them directly. Thus, at 2.35am, we called the Turkish coastguard and forwarded all information to them we had received so far. At 2.52am, we also provided the Turkish coastguard with this information via email. At 3.25am, the Turkish coastguard called us back and informed us that they had search in the area with a rescue vessel but had not find any boat in distress. However, at 6am, a contact person informed us that the travellers had safely arrived at the Greek island of Lesvos. We tried to call them directly, but again did not reach them. At 6.16am, we called the Greek coastguard on Lesvos and asked them for information on boat arrivals on that day. They confirmed to us that three boats had arrived, but the numbers of travellers did not really match with our information on the boat we had been alerted to. After a lot of research and contact to several actors on the island, in the evening of that day, our contact person confirmed to us that he had spoken to the travellers directly and that they have safely arrived on Lesvos.
Last update: 21:00 Mar 19, 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

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