Almost 30 dead in accident with refugee boat in the English Channel – "Becomes a graveyard like the Mediterranean"

Rescue workers in the port of Calais after the boat accident in the English Channel Photo: MAXPPP / Marc Demeure

In the English Channel between France and Great Britain a boat capsized and there are at least 27 people around Life came. The accident occurred according to the French police on Wednesday off the coast near Calais. Only two people survived the accident, both are in mortal danger. Four suspected smugglers were arrested.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in whose country the refugees wanted, called an emergency meeting. France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex spoke of a “tragedy”. There was temporary confusion about the death toll. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of 31 dead in the early evening, and the Interior Ministry later corrected the number to 27.

“We came across a rubber dinghy from which the air had escaped. The little air it had left kept it afloat”

Charles Devos, French sea rescuer

Three helicopters and three boats were involved in the rescue and search operation. According to the authorities, the search for the overturned ship was stopped for the time being in the evening. Captain Charles Devos of the French Maritime Rescue (SNSM) spoke of a “shocking” drama. “We met a rubber dinghy from which the air had escaped. The little air it had left kept it afloat,” he reported after the mission.

According to France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, five of the dead, whose nationality was initially unknown women and a little girl. “The English Channel is gradually becoming a cemetery, just like the Mediterranean”said Pierre Roques from the aid organization L’Auberge des Migrants.

France and Great Britain want to do more against illegal crossings

Head of State Macron called for “an emergency meeting of the European ministers affected by the migration challenge”. British Prime Minister Johnson said after his government’s crisis meeting in London that he was “shocked, outraged and deeply saddened” by the accident. Together with France he wanted to do “more” against illegal crossings, but pointed out differences of opinion Paris there. London had “difficulties convincing some of our partners, especially the French, to act appropriately to the situation”, soft is them Transmitter Sky News.

A few days ago it became known that the French police had taken 15 suspected people smugglers from Iraq, Romania, Pakistan and Vietnam into custody. They are said to have brought about 250 migrants to the UK in boats every month. For the crossing they would have received 6,000 euros per person and made a total of three million euros in profit.

7,800 people had to be rescued from the English Channel in distress this year

According to the relevant prefecture, tried 31,500 refugees since the beginning of the year coming from France across the English Channel to Great Britain. Around 7,800 people were rescued from distress at sea. In total, at least 34 people have died or are missing while traveling across the English Channel this year. According to British figures, around 22,000 migrants have come to Great Britain across the English Channel since the beginning of the year.

There are many migrants in the Calais area. Aid organizations criticize that security forces regularly evacuate their camps and destroy tents and sleeping bags in the process. The migrants are offered emergency accommodation in other parts of the country. However, many of them keep trying to get into the UK. Migrant crossings to Great Britain create significant tensions between Paris and London. Many migrants want to go to the UK because they are the language speak and already have friends or relatives there.


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