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Migrant boat capsizes in English Channel, killing six

Migrant boat capsizes in English Channel, killing six

Migrant boat capsizes in English Channel, killing six

Migrant boat capsizes in English Channel, killing six

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  • Migrant boat capsizes in the English Channel, killing 6.
  • 55 were rescued, search for up to 10 people is ongoing.
  • Boat carrying migrants overturned near Sangatte in northern France.

French maritime authorities reported that a boat carrying migrants en route to Britain sank in the English Channel, resulting in the tragic death of six individuals.

Efforts are underway to locate those who remain unaccounted for.

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According to a spokesperson from the French coastal authority Premar, between five and ten passengers are still missing, while 55 have been successfully rescued.

A collaborative rescue operation involving four French ships, a helicopter, and two British vessels was conducted near Sangatte in northern France. Notably, several survivors were saved by the British vessels.

Franck Dhersin, the local mayor, revealed that an extensive rescue mission was initiated at approximately 6 am (04:00 GMT) in response to numerous migrant boats simultaneously attempting the perilous crossing.

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“Several of the boats were facing serious difficulties,” he told the Reuters news agency. “Near [the coastal town of] Sangatte they unfortunately found dead bodies.”

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The maritime authorities officially verified a minimum of six fatalities and stated that efforts for search and rescue were still in progress.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced that Junior Maritime Affairs Minister Herve Berville would be dispatched to Calais, which is near the location where one of the migrant boats overturned.

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“This morning, a migrant boat capsized off Calais,” French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on social media. “My thoughts are with the victims.”

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The UK’s coastguard dispatched a lifeboat from Dover to provide aid in the ongoing rescue efforts. Additionally, a coastguard rescue team and medical personnel were mobilized to assist.

Official statistics disclosed on Friday highlight that over 100,000 migrants have made the perilous journey across the English Channel in small boats from France to southeastern England since the commencement of public record-keeping in 2018.

In a common tactic, human traffickers often overcrowd fragile dinghies, leaving them barely seaworthy and susceptible to the elements as they endeavor to reach British coastlines.

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“We saved 54 people, including one woman,” said Anne Thorel, a volunteer who was on one of the rescue boats, describing the migrants’ frantic efforts to bail water out of their sinking vessel using their shoes.

“There were too many of them on the [migrant] boat,” she told Reuters by phone as she returned to the shore.

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In the wake of an agreement reached in March, wherein London committed to providing Paris with substantial financial support on an annual basis, French authorities have escalated their patrols and implemented additional deterrent measures.

The pathway through this highly trafficked maritime route has demonstrated consistent danger, witnessing multiple instances of vessels capsizing and numerous refugees and migrants losing their lives in these waters over the past decade.

During the preceding year, five migrants perished at sea, and four individuals were unaccounted for while attempting to traverse from France to Britain.

Tragically, in November 2021, a devastating incident unfolded as a boat capsized in the English Channel, resulting in the loss of 27 migrants’ lives.

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