During a joint rescue operation of Jugend Rettet, Save the Children and SOS Mediterranee/ MSF) where they were rescuing two vesseles in distress, the fast boat ‘Tileel 267’ from the Libyan Coast Guard approached the scene at high speed. By the time the Coast Guard arrived, the crew of the Aquarius had already distributed life vests to one rubber boat and evacuated 20 people from it. Then, the  Coast Guard approached the other rubber boat that had already lost a lot of air from the tubes and issued warning shots into the water and in the air. Two coastguard officers  entered the rubber boat at gunpoint and took all valuables, such as money and mobile phones. The  panic caused 60 people to jump into the water. Because the life vests had been distributed prior to this incident, nobody drowned.

SAR case number: N.A

SAR organisation: SOS Mediterranee

SAR assets: Aquarius; Iuventa

Incident types: Violent boarding by non-EU authority; Action against survivors (Other)

Date of SAR (UTC): 23/05/2017


Number of migrant boats: 2

Type of migrant boat(s): Rubbet Boats

Number of people on board per boat: 20 migrants in one boat and 60 in another

Other vessels in the vicinity (e.g. unidentified / cargo / aircrafts): fast boat Tileel 267 (al-Zawijah) and further unidentifiable boats

Actors involved (by asset / institution type): Libyan Coast Guard/Navy


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

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: N.A

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

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: 12 Nautical Miles off the coast of Sabratha


Total number of survivors: 80


Total number of confirmed deaths: 0

Estimated number of dead / missing persons: 0