Channel Deaths: More Boats Arrive After 27 Persons Drown

Some of the migrants who made it across the Chanel on Thursday morning.

 

 

 

More people have made the perilous journey across the English Channel, a day after 27 people drowned in the deadliest crossing on record.

A group wearing life jackets were seen huddled together onboard a lifeboat near Dover on Thursday morning.

Despite yesterday’s deaths in the Channel, the crossings continued this morning. Around 40 migrants have been brought to Dover by the lifeboat charity the RNLI.

It’s windy on the water and extremely cold – but the determination to get to the UK remains as strong as ever.

However, no more boats have been making the crossing this afternoon due to high winds.

 The task is now under way to establish the identities of the people who died. That may prove problematic, as many migrants take to the water without any paperwork.

Another key concern is why their boat sank – was it overloaded, was the sea too rough, or could it have been hit by a passing ship?

The French authorities have described the boat as very flimsy.

In previous years, crossings tend to fall dramatically in autumn. That hasn’t happened this year.

That’s because the route has become so lucrative for the people smugglers who charge migrants around £3,000 each to get on a boat.

Those who drowned on Wednesday included 17 men, seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children, France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin said.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the fatal crossing.

Mr Darmanin said regional prosecutors had launched an investigation into aggravated manslaughter.

He said two survivors were in a critical condition in a French hospital, where they are being treated for severe hypothermia. One is Iraqi and the other Somali, he told RTL radio.

It was earlier reported 31 people had died, but the total was revised down overnight into Thursday.

The alarm was raised on Wednesday after a fishing boat crew spotted several people in the sea off the coast of France.

UK PM, Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that while the UK and France had agreed more needed to be done, there had been “difficulties” persuading the French “to do things in a way that we think the situation deserves”. BBC

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