An incident took place yesterday during which Greek and Turkish Search And Rescue assets became entangled around the Greek islet of Kalogeri, near Andros Island. The Turkish side mounted a SAR operation in the area after supposedly receiving a distress call from an aircraft which witnessed a surface vessel in distress. The aircraft which made this report was none other than a Turkish Air Force F-16 which at that moment was flying in the area. The Turkish aircraft was part of a flight of 4 aircraft which had entered the area without submitting flight plans. Greek Mirage 2000 interceptors which had taken off to identify the intruding aircraft reported that there was no surface vessel to be seen in the area.
Regardless, Greek SAR assets including a Navy frigate and also a FRONTEX vessel, arrived in the area to conduct a search. Turkish helicopters also arrived on the scene, with “cover” provided by yet another formation of Turkish F-16s.
The whole incident appears to have been a hoax by the Turkish side to once more lay claim on having Search And Rescue rights to vast areas of the Aegean which fall within Greek jurisdiction.
The Greek side responded with a large array of assets to aid in the search, at considerable cost, which was most likely meant to show that Greece will not resign itself to Turkish claims to the area. After the Turkish helicopters and ships left the area the Greek frigate also left.
So far there have been no reports of any vessels missing in the area, which underlines the fact that this was most likely another Turkish attempt to create tension in the area.