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Monday, April 22, 2024

English Channel, migrant crossing, rescue operation. One person is dead, two are missing

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One person is dead and two are missing after a boat accident in French waters in the English Channel. On Wednesday alone, 180 people were rescued there.

According to the French maritime office, there were 50 migrants in a boat drifting off the coast of France. People on board told rescuers that three people had fallen overboard.

The French maritime prefecture confirmed that one person was rescued from the water, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. Two other people could not be found. The remaining passengers on board were taken to safety. Two French ships and a helicopter were involved in the action.

A UK government spokesman confirmed it had been notified of an incident “involving a small boat in French waters”. “The French authorities are leading the action and investigation. We will not provide further comments at this stage,” he said.

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The rescue operation was one of several undertaken in the English Channel on Wednesday. According to the BBC, a total of 180 people were rescued that day. One of the boats was about to break in half, but was close enough to where it started that those on board managed to get back to land.

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, admitted it was “another human tragedy that could have been avoided.” He called on the British government to “rethink its approach” to the problem of small boat crossings. He mentioned that a plan is needed to provide shelter for people fleeing persecution and violence without having to decide on a dangerous journey. He proposed, among other things, introducing visas for refugees and concluding an agreement with the French government to ensure fair and dignified treatment for these people.

Data from the Ministry of Home Affairs show that this year, over two thousand migrants have arrived in Great Britain via this route (only last week 290 people decided to make the dangerous crossing).

Main photo source: PAP/Panoramic



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