Mo Chara was out on routine exercise when the crew heard chatter over Channel 16. The communication was between Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) and Turkish Coast Guard (TCG), and referred to a suspected “migrant” boat in Turkish waters. At 06:45 approx, trained Lighthouse Relief and Refugee Rescue spotters at Korakas sighted the boat.

The Refugee Rescue SAR vessel Mo Chara started to approach the migrant vessel. HCG were following. As Mo Chara neared the scene, the crew again overhead communication between HCG and TCG. TCG were informing HGG that “people were in the water”.  The crew subsequently prepared flotation devices.

On 06:55 Mo Chara arrived on scene to find TCG in Greek waters. Mo Chara was at least 0.3 Nautical Miles from the Turkish/ Hellenic border at this point. It was quickly apparent that nobody had jumped into the water as previously reported by TCG .

Once HCG arrived, TCG left for Turkish waters. Refugee Rescue used their Arabic speaker to communicate with the people on board the migrant boat and after 13 minutes they stopped their engine. Finally, on07:08 the HCG began taking people on their vessel.

SAR organisation: Refugee Rescue

SAR asset: Mo Chara

Time of first information received (UTC): 13/06/2018 6:45 am

Starting time of first sighting / engagement with target boat in distress (UTC): 13/06/2018 6:55 am


Number of migrant boats: 1

Type of migrant boat(s): Rubber dinghy

Number of people on board per boat: 38

Other vessels in the vicinity (e.g. unidentified / cargo / aircrafts): Hellenic Coastguard Patrol boat, Turkish Coastguard Patrol boat.

Actors involved (by asset / institution type): Turkish Coast Guard; Greek Coast guard


Region of Mediterranean: Eastern Mediterranean

Position(s) of rescue(s) at the time of SAR operation(s):

Approximate distance from coast line: 1.6NM from Greece (estimated)


Total number of survivors: 38

Number of identified (accompanied) children: 14

Number of identified unaccompanied minors: 6