the Aquarius was instructed by the MRCC Rome to search for a wooden boat in the rescue zone west of Tripoli. After successfully locating the target and in the midst of rescuing the 121 people aboard, another wooden boat in need of assistance was reported . Upon successful completion of the first rescue, SOS MEDITERRANEE’s speedboats immediately proceeded to the second boat in distress, carrying 87 people.

During the second rescue, a grey dinghy was spotted on the horizon. After the distribution of lifejackets to its 109 passengers, a person slipped and fell into the water causing about ten other people to fall into the sea. Everyone was immediately recovered by SOS MEDITERRANEE’s rescue team.

While the teams on the Aquarius were distributing water, food and dry clothes and the medical team provided first aid, the speedboats were dispatched to a fourth boat in distress – a green dinghy. Halfway there, the rescuers came across a fifth boat in distress, lost in international waters, carrying 15 people. Both boats were evacuated and their passengers safely escorted to the Aquarius, which, following instructions from the MRCC Rome, remained on stand-by in the rescue zone for several more hours.

SAR case number: N.A

SAR organisation: SOS Mediterranee

SAR asset: Aquarius

Incident type: Intimidation (Other)

Date of SAR (UTC): 16/01/2017

Time of first information received (UTC): 16/01/2017 6:00 am

Source of first information for the NGO: MRCC Rome


Number of migrant boats: 5

Type of migrant boat(s): Wooden Boats and Dinghys

Number of people on board per boat: The first boad had 121 migrants, the second 87, the third 109 and the fourth 15.

Other vessels in the vicinity (e.g. unidentified / cargo / aircrafts): French navy vessel, merchant vessel and an ITalian Coast Guard vessel

Actors involved (by asset / institution type): MRCC Rome; EU Member State warship (France); EU Member State warship (Italy)


Region of Mediterranean: Central Mediterranean

Position(s) of vessel(s) in distress at the time of SAR request:

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: 15 nautical miles from the Libyan Coast

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

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: 15 nautical miles from the Libyan Coast

Country of disembarkation: Italy


Total number of survivors: 505


Total number of confirmed deaths: 0

Estimated number of dead / missing persons: 0