29/04: 1 boat with 180ppl started from Turkey, brought to Greece after seven days at sea

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 29th of April 2021</b>

<i>Case name</i>: 2021_04_29-AEG785

<i>Situation</i>: 180 travellers rescued to Kalamata, Greee, after in fear of a pushback, refusing to be brought to Greece for three days

<i>Status of WTM Investigation</i>: Concluded

<i>Place of Incident</i>: Aegean Sea

<i>Summary of the Case:

On April 29th at 14:44 CEST, we informed the Hellenic Coastguard about a boat that left Izmir in the morning of the 27th of April, carrying approximately 150 people. We had been unable to establish contact with the boat until 2 days later when we learned the number of people on board was closer to 180 people.

On May 1st at 18:27 CEST, we updated the Hellenic Coast Guard with a position.At 20:20 CEST, we tweeted:“Boat with 170-180 people adrift since Thursday between #Greece & #Italy! According to relatives, the people reported today that the engine stopped working & that they need rescue. The @HCoastGuard & MRCC Rome were first informed on Thursday and updated with a position today.“

On May 2nd at 06:57 CEST, after more than 12 hours with no contact to the boat, we got a WhatsApp message from the people saying: “We don’t have any water and food. And the swell is getting high by the evening. We need help before that. We are stuck at sea.” The people were at sea for 4 full days by then.

At 10:33 CEST, the people on the boat messaged us that a big ship had arrived for help. The ship’s crew helped the people repair the engine and provided food for them. The Hellenic Coast Guard confirmed that they had instructed this cargo ship to approach and assist the boat in distress. At 20:35 CEST, the Hellenic Coast Guard called the Alarm Phone to announce that they instructed the cargo ship to tow the boat with the 180 people to the nearest port of safety, since it had become clear that the boat cannot be stirred anymore.The people on the boat refused to be brought to Greece because some among them had been pushed violently back to Turkey during previous attempts to cross to Europe. Thus the people on the boat cut the towing cable because they wanted to go to Italy.

At 21:24 CEST we talked to the people on the boat and they asked to be brought to Italy. We explained that they were in Greek SAR zone and that they can only be assisted by the Hellenic Coast Guard, which can only bring them to Greece. They told us they didn’t want to go to Greece, as they are afraid of a pushback. Later, they send us the following voice messages:

“Hello world. This is White Angel civilian cruise that carries about 180 people. People that run away from war and destruction and blood and torture. People that want to be safe, but right now we are stuck in the international water, between Greece and Italy. So we have engine failure, we have limited supplies. Yesterday we didn’t have any supplies. Thank god there is a cargo ship, give us water and food and care about us very much. Now we are stuck with the Greek coastguard.”

“The Greek coastguard, you will be shocked about the story you will hear about their aggressive and inhumanity. There is some people with us caught by them early, about two weeks ago. They caught them in the water and cabled them and threw them in the water, just like that. Maybe you don’t believe, but there are people with me here, tell their story. We refuse any help from Greek, because they will torture us, they always play games on us.”

“Here is a family with their children. The family is very scared about their destination. They either want to die in the sea, they never want to be caught by Greek Coastguard. I don’t know how that’s possible. But also there are too many people here who say ok we will die in the sea, no problem, but we will die in freedom, with the free world, in a free world. Not torturing us, cable us with the rope, hit us and throw us in the water, and humiliating us. No, we die, we die with the proud and freedom.”

On May 3rd at 10:02 CEST, we got the information that the people decided, after seven days at sea, that they agreed to go to Greece. At 10:15 CEST, the Hellenic Coast Guard confirmed that the boat was being towed to the port of Kalamata.At 18:00 CEST, we talked to the people who said they just arrived in Kalamata.

Twitter timeline:

Boat with 170-180 people adrift since Thursday between #Greece & #Italy! According to relatives, the people reported today that the engine stopped working & that they need rescue. The @HCoastGuard & MRCC Rome were first informed on Thursday and updated with a position today. https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1388558977060032523

We do not know if there is still food & water on board. Italy denied responsibility & the @HCoastGuard refused to give out any information. It is still unclear if a rescue operation is taking place. Don’t let the people spend another night at sea – rescue is needed soon! https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/ … 60032523

After more than 12 hours without contact to the boat, we received news from the people this morning. They wrote: “We don’t have any water and food and the swell is getting high by the evening. We need help before that. We are stuck at sea”. We immediately alerted the @HCoastGuard

The people from Syria also sent this voice message asking for help. The

@HCoastGuardtold us that they are investigating. In light of overwhelming evidence of #pushbacks and non- rescue on their behalf, we do not know if they are fulfilling their duty to rescue and protect them. https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/ … 8902347776

The people on the boat messaged that a big ship has arrived for help. The Hellenic Coast Guard confirmed that it is a cargo ship that they instructed to approach the boat in distress. It remains to be seen what the fate of the people will be as there is no rescue operation yet. https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/ … 5288832

After the @HCoastGuard instructed a nearby ship to provide assistance, they organized rescue to Kalamata. However, the people are traumatised and afraid that they will be pushed back to Turkey. They told us: “We do not want to go to Greece, Greeks sent us to Turkey before.” https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1388794883998158850

We just learned that the 170-180 people arrived in the city of #Kalamata in #Greece. We hope they are well & in good health, and wish them fast recovery from this exhausting journey! https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1389252054527455239

</i>

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 29th of April 2021</b> <i>Case name</i>: 2021_04_29-AEG785 <i>Situation</i>: 180 travellers rescued to Kalamata, Greee, after in fear of a pushback, refusing to be brought to Greece for three days <i>Status of WTM Investigation</i>: Concluded <i>Place of Incident</i>: Aegean Sea <i>Summary of the Case: On April 29th at 14:44 CEST, we informed the Hellenic Coastguard about a boat that left Izmir in the morning of the 27th of April, carrying approximately 150 people. We had been unable to establish contact with the boat until 2 days later when we learned the number of people on board was closer to 180 people. On May 1st at 18:27 CEST, we updated the Hellenic Coast Guard with a position.At 20:20 CEST, we tweeted:“Boat with 170-180 people adrift since Thursday between #Greece & #Italy! According to relatives, the people reported today that the engine stopped working & that they need rescue. The @HCoastGuard & MRCC Rome were first informed on Thursday and updated with a position today.“ On May 2nd at 06:57 CEST, after more than 12 hours with no contact to the boat, we got a WhatsApp message from the people saying: “We don’t have any water and food. And the swell is getting high by the evening. We need help before that. We are stuck at sea.” The people were at sea for 4 full days by then. At 10:33 CEST, the people on the boat messaged us that a big ship had arrived for help. The ship’s crew helped the people repair the engine and provided food for them. The Hellenic Coast Guard confirmed that they had instructed this cargo ship to approach and assist the boat in distress. At 20:35 CEST, the Hellenic Coast Guard called the Alarm Phone to announce that they instructed the cargo ship to tow the boat with the 180 people to the nearest port of safety, since it had become clear that the boat cannot be stirred anymore.The people on the boat refused to be brought to Greece because some among them had been pushed violently back to Turkey during previous attempts to cross to Europe. Thus the people on the boat cut the towing cable because they wanted to go to Italy. At 21:24 CEST we talked to the people on the boat and they asked to be brought to Italy. We explained that they were in Greek SAR zone and that they can only be assisted by the Hellenic Coast Guard, which can only bring them to Greece. They told us they didn’t want to go to Greece, as they are afraid of a pushback. Later, they send us the following voice messages: “Hello world. This is White Angel civilian cruise that carries about 180 people. People that run away from war and destruction and blood and torture. People that want to be safe, but right now we are stuck in the international water, between Greece and Italy. So we have engine failure, we have limited supplies. Yesterday we didn’t have any supplies. Thank god there is a cargo ship, give us water and food and care about us very much. Now we are stuck with the Greek coastguard.” “The Greek coastguard, you will be shocked about the story you will hear about their aggressive and inhumanity. There is some people with us caught by them early, about two weeks ago. They caught them in the water and cabled them and threw them in the water, just like that. Maybe you don’t believe, but there are people with me here, tell their story. We refuse any help from Greek, because they will torture us, they always play games on us.” “Here is a family with their children. The family is very scared about their destination. They either want to die in the sea, they never want to be caught by Greek Coastguard. I don’t know how that’s possible. But also there are too many people here who say ok we will die in the sea, no problem, but we will die in freedom, with the free world, in a free world. Not torturing us, cable us with the rope, hit us and throw us in the water, and humiliating us. No, we die, we die with the proud and freedom.” On May 3rd at 10:02 CEST, we got the information that the people decided, after seven days at sea, that they agreed to go to Greece. At 10:15 CEST, the Hellenic Coast Guard confirmed that the boat was being towed to the port of Kalamata.At 18:00 CEST, we talked to the people who said they just arrived in Kalamata. Twitter timeline: Boat with 170-180 people adrift since Thursday between #Greece & #Italy! According to relatives, the people reported today that the engine stopped working & that they need rescue. The @HCoastGuard & MRCC Rome were first informed on Thursday and updated with a position today. https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1388558977060032523 We do not know if there is still food & water on board. Italy denied responsibility & the @HCoastGuard refused to give out any information. It is still unclear if a rescue operation is taking place. Don't let the people spend another night at sea - rescue is needed soon! https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/ ... 60032523 After more than 12 hours without contact to the boat, we received news from the people this morning. They wrote: "We don't have any water and food and the swell is getting high by the evening. We need help before that. We are stuck at sea". We immediately alerted the @HCoastGuard The people from Syria also sent this voice message asking for help. The @HCoastGuardtold us that they are investigating. In light of overwhelming evidence of #pushbacks and non- rescue on their behalf, we do not know if they are fulfilling their duty to rescue and protect them. https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/ ... 8902347776 The people on the boat messaged that a big ship has arrived for help. The Hellenic Coast Guard confirmed that it is a cargo ship that they instructed to approach the boat in distress. It remains to be seen what the fate of the people will be as there is no rescue operation yet. https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/ ... 5288832 After the @HCoastGuard instructed a nearby ship to provide assistance, they organized rescue to Kalamata. However, the people are traumatised and afraid that they will be pushed back to Turkey. They told us: "We do not want to go to Greece, Greeks sent us to Turkey before." https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1388794883998158850 We just learned that the 170-180 people arrived in the city of #Kalamata in #Greece. We hope they are well & in good health, and wish them fast recovery from this exhausting journey! https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1389252054527455239 </i>

This post was originally published on Watch the Med.


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