On 9 November 2020, Alarm Phone is alerted to a distress case near the Greek island of Milos. A big sailing boat of about 22m is carrying approximately 60 people fleeing from Turkey to Italy. The last known position from 09:00h CET is off the coast of the small Greek island of Antimilos.
When we call the Hellenic Coast Guard at 10:15h CET, they inform us that they already know about the boat and that they have been trying to help. At 11:26h CET, we receive and publish a video showing a small boat of the Hellenic Coast Guard towing the sailing boat along the coast of the island.
We publish another tweet, as the contact with the people could not be re-established and Greek authorities refuse to provide any information.
An expert from Forensic Architecture that sees the video confirms that the island in the background is Antimilos by matching it with maps available online. We ask the Hellenic Coast Guard where they are taking the travellers, but they refuse to give any information and simply repeat “everything ok”.
Since then, we have not been able to re-establish contact with the people from this boat.
On 13 November 2020, the Turkish Coast Guard published news about the rescue of 70 people from a sailing boat off the coast from the province of Izmir (Seferihisar district). According to the information on the website the rescue was conducted on 12 November 2020 at 21:30h (probably UTC+3). An additional picture published on the website shows details that match those in the video the Alarm Phone had received: a white mast, a blue roof tarp, yellow life jackets, and the clothing of the people on the sailing boat.
To this day, we have not been able to verify what happened to the people.