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*New emergency number for police, fire and ambulance is 999*


At about 1320hrs the police marine crew received notification from the Gibraltar Port Authority that they had been contacted by the Spanish Rescue Service ‘Salvamento Maritimo’ and had been made aware of a search and rescue operation being carried out in the bay.

Initial reports suggested that two individuals were difficulties on board a semi-submerged jetski in the bay of Gibraltar, although their location was unknown.

3 local Law Enforcement Agency (LEAS) vessels from the RGP, HM Customs and GDP, under the coordination of the Gibraltar Port Authority VTS begun a systematic search of the BGTW. During the course of the search, and after several misleading reports, information was received by the Port VTS operator that Motor Tanker ‘LNG KANO’ whilst transiting the Straits of Gibraltar had sighted the individuals floating in the sea some 6.9NM South East off Europa point. The initial report suggested that the individuals were either dead or in very poor condition.

The RGP crew on board the interceptor vessel Sir Francis Richard, made its way at full speed to the tanker’s last reported position and established communications with both the tanker and Tarifa traffic. Together with a Salvamento Maritimo SAR helicopter, they begun retracing the tanker’s wake and despite the poor visibility due to the heavy easterly swells the RGP crew sighted the two individuals in the water holding on to their now swamped jetski. The two men, believed to be Spanish nationals of Moroccan descent, were taken aboard the police vessel where they were given 1st aid for severe hypothermia. Shortly after the Salvamento Maritimo vessel ‘Salvamar Atria’ rendezvoused with the Sir Francis Richard and the two men, that were in very poor condition, were transferred onboard and given immediate medical attention by the Salvamar crew, who stated that the men would not have survived exposure to the elements much longer.

The search was then called off and all local LEA vessels returned to their respective bases. The jetski sunk as the Salvamar vessel attempted to tow it in the heavy swell.

Acting Commissioner Richard Ullger praised the close coordination and cooperation between local and Spanish Search and Rescue organisations and maritime assets; that spared no effort in their quest to save the lives of these two individuals.