27/03: 122 travellers, fate remains unknown

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 27th March 2021</b>
<i>Case name</i>: 2021_03_27-CM388
<i>Situation</i>: The fate of the 122 travellers who departed from Al Khoms, Libya,
remains unknown.
<i>Stat…

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 27th March 2021</b> <i>Case name</i>: 2021_03_27-CM388 <i>Situation</i>: The fate of the 122 travellers who departed from Al Khoms, Libya, remains unknown. <i>Status of WTM Investigation</i>: Concluded <i>Place of Incident</i>: Central Mediterranean Sea <i>Summary of the Case:</i> Around 12:30h CET the Alarm Phone was called by a boat in distress carrying 122 travellers including 10 children. The travellers were urgently asking for help, after having received their GPS position at 13:13h we alerted Maltese, Italian and Libyan authorities passing on all the information we had. Similarly, we also alerted the NGO boat Open Arms and NGO search aircrafts. After several attempts to reach the so-called Libyan coastguard, at 13:25h an officer answered the phone, while he confirmed receipt of our email, he did not tell us whether they were going to carry out a rescue operation. At 13:33h we published the first of a series of tweets informing about the case. Soon after our shift team spoke again to the travellers who were panicking and scared, urgently asking for help. As we tried again to call the so-called Libyan coastguard, they immediately hung up on us when we introduced ourselves. At 14:45 we spoke again to the travellers and they gave us an updated GPS position. We then passed on this information to authorities. During the rest of the afternoon, we maintained contact with the travellers, the situation was deteriorating as people had no more drinking water, waves were getting higher, and people had fainted. During the rest of the afternoon the so-called Libyan coastguard continued to not answer our calls and emails. We nonetheless managed to speak twice to the Italian coastguard who took all the information we gave but only advised us to keep trying to contact Libyan authorities. The travellers themselves continued to ask for urgent rescue as the sea was getting rougher, they we exhausted and extremely worried. At 19:30h they also informed us that they had spotted a vessel which however had changed direction and was not rescuing them. When the travellers sent us new GPS position, we forwarded them to authorities. At 20:00h the NGO boat Open Arms informed us and authorities that they were heading towards the boat in distress, nonetheless they were quite distant from the boat. Later in the evening a relative of one of the travellers called us and informed us that the boat was a plastic boat and had left Al Khoms the previous night at 2 am. At 22:55h when we spoke to the travellers again, they told us that more water was entering the boat and several people were unconscious by then. At 00:21h our shift team received from the travellers a new GPS position which they immediately forwarded to Open Arms and authorities. During the rest of the night and the following morning we unfortunately lost contact with the travellers. We also tried to contact the so-called Libyan coastguard multiple times, but no one picked up our calls. Unfortunately, Open Arms was not able to find the boat, the fate of the travellers therefore remains unknown. We suppose that they could have been ultimately intercepted by the so called Libyan coastguard. Twitter Chronology: 27.03 13:32 https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1375787747110174721 19:04 https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1375871292142977027 21:01 https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1375900897126014977 20.03 12:54 https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1376125494731608071

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» 27/03: 122 travellers, fate remains unknown | Watch the Med | Refugee Watch | https://www.refugee.watch/2021/03/28/27-03-122-travellers-fate-remains-unknown/ | 2022-09-30T16:41:39+00:00
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