Home » Channel Migrants: One Dead, Another Injured, Says French Coastguard
Europe European Union France Migrants News

Channel Migrants: One Dead, Another Injured, Says French Coastguard

One person has died and another is in a critical condition after a boat carrying migrants got into difficulty in the Channel.

There were 66 people on board the boat, which got into trouble about 8km (5 miles) from the French coast, according to the French coastguard.

The survivors have been taken to Calais, where the injured person is being treated in hospital.

Searches are continuing by air and sea, the coastguard said.

French officials said they reached the boat at 01:15 local time (00:15 GMT), finding that one of the boat’s tubes was deflated and there were people in the water.

Two of the rescued migrants were found unconscious, with one in a life-threatening condition evacuated by helicopter to a Calais hospital.

The other could not be resuscitated.

The others on the boat were taken to Calais for treatment, and the coastguard said sea and air searches would continue.

The rescue occurred a few miles off the French coast near Grand-Fort Philippe, 20km east of Calais.

Enver Solomon, chief executive officer of the Refugee Council, said: “This is yet another terrible and avoidable tragedy.

“These appalling deaths are becoming too common and there is an urgent need to put in place safe routes so people don’t have to take dangerous journeys across the world’s busiest shipping lane.”

It was the first attempted crossing for 11 days due to windy weather in the Channel.

But 730 people made the journey in the first three days of December when the sea was calm.

So far this year more than 29,000 people have reached the UK in small boats – though this represents a fall of about a third on the same period last year.

The UK government has said that “stopping the boats” crossing the English Channel is a key political priority.

As part of this, it is pushing ahead with a plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda, despite the Supreme Court ruling that the policy is unlawful.

The English Channel is one of the most dangerous and busiest shipping lanes in the world, with 600 tankers and 200 ferries passing through it every day.

In August, at least six people died after a boat carrying migrants sank in the Channel off the French coast.

In November 2021, at least 27 migrants died after a dinghy sank while heading to the UK from France, the highest recorded number of deaths from a single incident.

Source : BBC