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SITUATION RECAP

Last update 20/09/2018 at 23:32  (All times in UTC+2)

– On Thursday morning, whilst patrolling the Libyan Search and Rescue Region in international waters Aquarius spots a small fiber glass boat

– After assessing situation and unsuccesfully contacting the Libyan JRCC, Aquarius procedes to rescue the 11 people on board

– Libyan JRCC assumes coordination  for the SAR event and requests Aquarius proceed to a designated meeting point to transfer rescued people to a Libyan Coast Guard patrol boat

– Aquarius informs Libyan JRCC that as per SAR convention, it cannot proceed to transfer due to consideration that Libyan ports are not places of safety

– Libyan JRCC answers Aquarius that it should contact other MRCCs or its flag state

– Aquarius confirms good receipt of Libyan JRCC’s previous message and informs it will contact other competent authorities to request a place of safety

– Aquarius has now requested a place of safety from Italian MRCC and RCC Malta. Malta responds that it is not the competent authority to provide a place of safety. Italy responds that it will not be providing a place of safety since it did not coordinate the SAR event.

– Aquarius continues to patrol in international waters in the Libyan Search and Rescue Region, approximately 25 NM off the coast of Libya

September 22, 2018
16:50

Tunisian Navy calls Aquarius on VHF requesting vessel details

Normal navigation
12:18

Aquarius patrols Libyan Search and Rescue Region north of Sabratha, heading west

Normal navigation

Aquarius is currently patrolling in international waters, in the Libyan Search and Rescue Region north of Sabratah and heading

Aquarius is currently patrolling in international waters, in the Libyan Search and Rescue Region north of Sabratah and heading towards the west. Aquarius’ speed is of 8 knots and its position is 33°15’85 N, 012°25’26 E.

  • Course over Ground (COG): 291°
  • Wind: 10 knots
  • Waves: 0.8 metre
  • Sea Scale: 2

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September 20, 2018
23:32

Italian MRCC responds to Aquarius that it will not provide a Place of Safety

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

The Italian MRCC responds to Aquarius via email that it will not provide a Place of Safety. “Good evening,…

The Italian MRCC responds to Aquarius via email that it will not provide a Place of Safety.

“Good evening,

following your e-mail below reported, be advised that Italian Authority will not provide POS in Italy because the SAR case was not coordinated by Italian MRCC.”  

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18:13

Aquarius requests place of safety to ITMRCC and RCC Malta

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

Aquarius requests place of safety to ITMRCC and RCC Malta. “Dear Sirs, Aquarius 2 would like to request a…

Aquarius requests place of safety to ITMRCC and RCC Malta.

“Dear Sirs,

Aquarius 2 would like to request a place of safety for the disembarkation of the 11 rescued people from today’s rescue in the Libyan SRR.  This RCC has been in copy of all the emails between JRCC Libya , Aquarius 2, and I am sure you are aware that JRCC Libya has asked Aquarius 2 to contact another MRCC to provide assistance.  I thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide in finding a solution for a prompt disembarkation at a place of safety.

Best Regards”

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13:36

Aquarius confirms good receipt of Libyan JRCC’s previous message and informs it will contact other competent authorities to request a place of safety

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

Aquarius confirms good receipt of Libyan JRCC’s previous message and informs it will contact other competent authorities to request…

Aquarius confirms good receipt of Libyan JRCC’s previous message and informs it will contact other competent authorities to request a place of safety. Aquarius reasserts that it attempted to establish contact with JRCC by several means before launching rescue operation.

“Dear Sirs,

Your last email is well noted and we will contact other competent authorities. As per our other emails we did try to inform JRCC Tripoli about the boat in distress, via phone, email and VHF (see the attached SITREP) but we were unable to establish contact. For the safety of everyone on the fibreglass boat we carried out a rescue immediately as per maritime law in order to prevent loss of life at sea. For the time being, we will remain in the area in international waters and continue to inform this RCC about any SAR activity, as the competent maritime authority for the region. We are awaiting a place of safety.  Any assistance that JRCC Tripoli can offer in facilitating quick disembarkation for the recued people in a place of safety is appreciated.”

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12:29

Libyan JRCC answers Aquarius and requests that Aquarius contact another MRCC or its Flag State

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

Libyan JRCC answers Aquarius by email and requests that Aquarius contact another MRCC or its Flag State. “Dear Sir,…

Libyan JRCC answers Aquarius by email and requests that Aquarius contact another MRCC or its Flag State.

“Dear Sir,

Following your email, where you assess that “none of the Libyan ports are a place of safety for the survivors”, and considered that you don’t want to cooperate with Libyan Coast Guard, as Authority coordinating SAR operation in area.

Considering, also, that we don’t received a distress call, but you took these people, independently without any order from LCG.

Now I kindly suggest to you to contact another MRCC or your Flag State.

Regards”

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12:06

Aquarius informs Libyan JRCC, ITMRCC, RCC Malta that it cannot proceed to transfer

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

Aquarius informs Libyan JRCC, ITMRCC and RCC Malta by email that it cannot proceed to transfer due to Libyan…

Aquarius informs Libyan JRCC, ITMRCC and RCC Malta by email that it cannot proceed to transfer due to Libyan ports not conforming to the definition of places of safety.

“Dear Sir,

Please be informed that following the assessment of the situation, and because of the necessity to provide immediate assistance without delay to the people in distress, I have performed the rescue of the SAR Case. I am currently patrolling with [11] survivors on board, under medical care. Most of the survivors are physically or mentally deeply traumatized.

Libyan Coast Guard requested us to transfer the survivors to their vessel to bring them to a Libyan port. I have all the reason to believe that none of the Libyan ports are a place of safety for the survivors. I also have all reason to believe that a transfer operation would jeopardize the safety of the rescued people and my crew because of a risk of panic.

Therefore, as per the SAR Convention we cannot and should not transfer rescued people to Libyan Coast Guard and I request you to help to provide us a place of safety for disembarking the survivors of the SAR Case within a reasonable time.

My ship has the capacity to provide adequate medical and humanitarian care to the survivors.

I consider this situation as a security threat for my crew, my ship and the survivors. I have tried to contact JRCC by phone but have had no reply.”

(more…)

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11:17

Libyan JRCC assumes coordination, ordering Aquarius to transfer rescued people to LCG patrol boat

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

Libyan JRCC assumes coordination of SAR event in email to Aquarius and orders Aquarius to procede to transfer all…

Libyan JRCC assumes coordination of SAR event in email to Aquarius and orders Aquarius to procede to transfer all rescued people to Libyan Coast Guard patrol boat.

“As Libyan authority I assume coordination of event in subject.

I will intervene with a patrol boat, in order to take immigrants. I order to you to sail along coastline to Zawia for a rendez vous  with a patrol boat, in PSN 33°00N 012°40E

Regards”

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08:53

Email sent to Libyan JRCC, ITMRCC, Maltese RCC and MRCC Tunisia informing about rescue operation

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

Aquarius sends email to Libyan JRCC, ITMRCC, Maltese RCC and MRCC Tunisia informing about rescue operation “While patrolling M/V…

Aquarius sends email to Libyan JRCC, ITMRCC, Maltese RCC and MRCC Tunisia informing about rescue operation

“While patrolling M/V Aquarius2 investigated a boat in position 33-28.6N 011-58.1Eat  0600Z. I am reporting to you that the situation is assessed as highly dangerous for the people on board.

  • It is a small white boat fiber glass boat with approximately 10 people on board.

I have every reason to believe that the Distress phase exists, because the target is an unseaworthy boat, without any life-saving appliance such as lifejacket or liferaft. According to the sailing conditions and the weather conditions, I have every reason to believe that the people in distress are already weak, sick and potentially injured.

I am currently deploying the fast rescue crafts.

As per the UNCLOS, SOLAS and SAR Conventions, I therefore inform you that M/V Aquarius 2 will provide immediate assistance to these people in distress and rescue them without delay. My ship has the capacity to recover all of the people, to provide medical care and to transfer them to a place of safety in a reasonable period of time.

I will keep you informed as soon as I have more information.”

(more…)

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08:35

Aquarius contacts Libyan JRCC by satellite phone but receives no response

— SAR Operations > Small fiber glass boat (2018.09.20)

According to the SAR Convention (1979), all information concerning a vessel in distress will be forwarded to the rescue…

According to the SAR Convention (1979), all information concerning a vessel in distress will be forwarded to the rescue co-ordination center concerned.

Chapter 4: Operating procedures

4.2.3 Any authority or element of the search and rescue service having reason to believe that a person, a vessel or other craft is in a state of emergency shall forward as soon as possible all available information to the rescue co-ordination centre or rescue sub-centre concerned.

According to the SOLAS Convention search and rescue units should proceed immediately to the distress event and inform the relevant rescue co-ordination centre.

Chapter V

Regulation 33: “Any search and rescue unit receiving information of a distress incident shall initially take immediate
action if in the position to assist and shall, in any case without delay, notify the rescue co-ordination centre or rescue
subcentre in whose area the incident has occurred”.

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September 19, 2018
11:30

Aquarius is patrolling in international waters, off the western coast of Libya

Normal navigation

Aquarius is patrolling in international waters north of Abu Kammash at a speed of 4 knots, approximately 24 nautical…

Aquarius is patrolling in international waters north of Abu Kammash at a speed of 4 knots, approximately 24 nautical miles from the coast of Libya. Current position is 33°29.90’ N, 11°51.94’ E.

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September 18, 2018
15:52

Aquarius informs on readiness for SAR operations

Normal navigation

Upon entering the Libyan Search and Rescue Region, Aquarius sends a notice to the Libyan JRCC, informing of the…

Upon entering the Libyan Search and Rescue Region, Aquarius sends a notice to the Libyan JRCC, informing of the vessel’s readiness to conduct SAR operations. Italian MRCC, Maltese MRCC, Tunisian MRCC and EUNAVFOR Med are also informed. Aquarius additionally provides the vessel’s technical specifications.

“MV AQUARIUS declares readiness for SAR operations in the Central Mediterranean Sea, south of Lampedusa and Malta, outside of Libyan Territorial Waters.

Actual position: 34-13.0N 012-10.6

Proceeding with course 170 speed 10.7 kts towards patrol area ca. 25 NM off Libyan coast between Long. of Zuwarah and Zawiya”

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15:00

Aquarius enters Libyan Search and Rescue Region

Normal navigation

Aquarius enters the Libyan Search and Rescue Region (SRR), in international waters. Aquarius’ current position is 34°20.4930′ N, 12°09.0280′…

Aquarius enters the Libyan Search and Rescue Region (SRR), in international waters. Aquarius’ current position is 34°20.4930′ N, 12°09.0280′ E.

 

On 27th June 2018, coordinates of the Libyan JRCC were uploaded on the GISIS, thereby legitimizing the coordination of rescues by this JRCC in the Libyan SRR.

From now on, according to the global SAR plan and the SAR Convention, any SAR case is under the responsibility of the Libyan Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC).

The responsibilities of a Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) are:

According to Maritime conventions and resolutions,

  • Upon the declaration of a distress phase, a RCC shall initiate “search and rescue operations when the position of the search object is unknown” (SAR Convention, art. 4.5.4).
  • As soon as the RCC responsible for a SRR in which assistance is needed is informed about a distress situation, it “should immediately accept responsibility for coordinating the rescue efforts” (MSC.167(78), art 6.7).
  • RCCs “should be prepared to act quickly on their own, or have processes in place, as necessary, to involve other authorities, so that timely decisions can be reached with regard to handling of survivors” (MSC.167(78), art 6.4).
  • A RCC “should make every effort to minimize the time survivors remain on board the assisting ship” (MSC.167(78), art 6.8).
  • A RCC “shall have available up-to-date information especially concerning search and rescue facilities and available communications relevant to search and rescue operations in its area” (SAR Convention, art 4.2.1).

 

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September 16, 2018
September 15, 2018
September 11, 2018
18:00

Aquarius ready to set sail under Panama flag

Normal navigation

The survey has been completed, leading Aquarius to set sail in fulfillment of Panama’s regulation requirements. The official name…

The survey has been completed, leading Aquarius to set sail in fulfillment of Panama’s regulation requirements. The official name of Aquarius is now “Aquarius 2” as “Aquarius” was already taken in the Panama register.

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August 27, 2018
August 26, 2018
August 17, 2018
August 16, 2018
August 15, 2018
August 9, 2018
14:18

Aquarius is approached by a speedboat at 50-60 meters distance

Normal navigation

Aquarius is approached at 50-60 meters distance by a speedboat coming alongside the Aquarius. There are 4 individuals on…

Aquarius is approached at 50-60 meters distance by a speedboat coming alongside the Aquarius. There are 4 individuals on board, not wearing a uniform. They wave towards the Aquarius. The speedboat passes the bow, turns around and sails further away, next to a fishing vessel, where it remains for around 15 minutes.

 

[UTC time}
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07:55

Receives call from Colibri, informing of departure

Normal navigation

Colibri airplane calls Aquarius on satellite phone to inform that it will soon take off and conduct an aerial…

Colibri airplane calls Aquarius on satellite phone to inform that it will soon take off and conduct an aerial search over the zone West of Tripoli. Aquarius provides present position and informs of good weather conditions.

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August 8, 2018
August 7, 2018
August 6, 2018
08:14

Aquarius patrols at 25nm from the coast of Libya, waves of 1.5 meters

Normal navigation

Aquarius is patrolling in the international waters West of Tripoli at a speed of 3,2 knots, at 25 nautical…

Aquarius is patrolling in the international waters West of Tripoli at a speed of 3,2 knots, at 25 nautical miles from the coast of Libya. Current position is 33°21.7′ N, 012°12.5′ E.

 

 

 

 

 

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August 5, 2018
13:35

Aquarius is patrolling in international waters at 25nm from the Libyan coast

Normal navigation

Aquarius is patrolling in the international waters West of Tripoli at a speed of 4,3 knots, at 25 nautical…

Aquarius is patrolling in the international waters West of Tripoli at a speed of 4,3 knots, at 25 nautical miles from the coast of Libya. Current position is 33°25.8′ N, 012°04.3′ E.

 

 

 

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August 4, 2018
21:38

Aquarius sends a “notice of readiness for SAR operations” to Libyan JRCC

Normal navigation

Upon entering the Libyan Search and Rescue Region, Aquarius sends a “notice of readiness for SAR operations” to the…

Upon entering the Libyan Search and Rescue Region, Aquarius sends a “notice of readiness for SAR operations” to the Libyan JRCC, copying the Italian MRCC, the Maltese MRCC and EUNAVFOR Med.

“MV AQUARIUS declares readiness for SAR operations in the Central Mediterranean Sea, south of Lampedusa and Malta, outside of Libyan Territorial Waters.

Actual position: N 34-08.1  E 012-13.1

Proceeding with course 174 degrees speed 9,5 kts towards patrolling area ca. 30 NM(night) 24nm(day) off Libyan coast between Long. of Zuwarah and Zawiya.

Aquarius also provides the required technical information about the vessel.

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20:13

Aquarius enters the Libyan Search and Rescue Region

Normal navigation

Aquarius enters the Libyan Search and Rescue Region (SRR), in international waters. From now on, according to the global…

Aquarius enters the Libyan Search and Rescue Region (SRR), in international waters.

From now on, according to the global SAR plan and the SAR Convention, any SAR case is under the responsibility of the Libyan Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC).

On 27th June 2018, coordinates of the Libyan JRCC were uploaded on the GISIS, thereby legitimizing the coordination of rescues by this JRCC in the Libyan SRR.

The responsibilities of a Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) are:

 

According to Maritime conventions and resolutions,

  • Upon the declaration of a distress phase, a RCC shall initiate “search and rescue operations when the position of the search object is unknown” (SAR Convention, art. 4.5.4).
  • As soon as the RCC responsible for a SRR in which assistance is needed is informed about a distress situation, it “should immediately accept responsibility for coordinating the rescue efforts” (MSC.167(78), art 6.7).
  • RCCs “should be prepared to act quickly on their own, or have processes in place, as necessary, to involve other authorities, so that timely decisions can be reached with regard to handling of survivors” (MSC.167(78), art 6.4).
  • A RCC “should make every effort to minimize the time survivors remain on board the assisting ship” (MSC.167(78), art 6.8).
  • A RCC “shall have available up-to-date information especially concerning search and rescue facilities and available communications relevant to search and rescue operations in its area” (SAR Convention, art 4.2.1).
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15:40

Aquarius stops for a rescue simulation

Normal navigation

Aquarius stops to conduct a rescue simulation. Three RHIB and mass floation devices (rafts and bananas) are launched in…

Aquarius stops to conduct a rescue simulation. Three RHIB and mass floation devices (rafts and bananas) are launched in the water. Navigation resumes at 18h25.

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10:00

Aquarius stops sailing to conduct drills

Normal navigation

Aquarius stops sailing to conduct rescue drills, including familiarisation with mass floatation devices. Navigation is resumed at 12h25.

Aquarius stops sailing to conduct rescue drills, including familiarisation with mass floatation devices. Navigation is resumed at 12h25.

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08:00

Aquarius is sailing along the coast of Tunisia

Normal navigation

Aquarius is sailing along the coast of Tunisia at a speed of 10 knots, currently in position 35°21.3′ N, 011°58.7′…

Aquarius is sailing along the coast of Tunisia at a speed of 10 knots, currently in position 35°21.3′ N, 011°58.7′ E.

Teams onboard start watching the sea from the bridge with binoculars to search for boats in distress.

 

 

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August 3, 2018
01:52

Aquarius receives call back from MRCC Alger

Normal navigation

After having called MRCC Tunis and MRCC Alger, Aquarius receives a phone call back from MRCC Alger, seeking to…

After having called MRCC Tunis and MRCC Alger, Aquarius receives a phone call back from MRCC Alger, seeking to confirm that Aquarius heard Algerian Coast Guard broadcasting a position on VHF channel 16. Aquarius confirms the position heard from the Algerian Coast Guard. MRCC Alger informs of an ongoing search operation.

Aquarius informs of her position and availability to assist, being equiped with three rescue boats on board, a search and rescue team and medical staff. MRCC Alger confirms it will call Aquarius if any assistance is needed.

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00:35

Aquarius hears VHF call alerting to a possible boat with migrants in the Algerian SRR

Normal navigation

Aquarius hears a VHF call by the Algerian Coast Guard on channel 16 alerting a vessel in the area…

Aquarius hears a VHF call by the Algerian Coast Guard on channel 16 alerting a vessel in the area to a possible boat with migrants onboard in position 38°11.6′ N, 008°09’06, in the Algerian Search and Rescue Region.

Aquarius cannot hear if any information is given about the people on the boat nor its situation.

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August 2, 2018
August 1, 2018
July 25, 2018
09:00

Aquarius shifts the berth in Marseille Port

Normal navigation

Aquarius shifts the berth from 110 to 66, for the installation of a 20 feet reefer container with a…

Aquarius shifts the berth from 110 to 66, for the installation of a 20 feet reefer container with a shore crane. The container will be used as a morgue if dead bodies are recovered at sea.

 

 

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June 29, 2018
June 25, 2018
11:00

Departure from patrolling area

Normal navigation

Aquarius is leaving the rescue zone and proceed to North for the technical portcall.

Aquarius is leaving the rescue zone and proceed to North for the technical portcall.

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June 17, 2018