On a somber day in the English Channel, a large group of migrants, totaling nearly 300, reached the UK shores. Unfortunately, this journey was marked by tragedy as one person lost their life and another was critically injured. The Home Office confirmed that 292 individuals navigated the treacherous waters in seven boats on Friday.
Early in the morning, a distressing situation unfolded about five miles off the French coast, where a boat carrying over 60 people began to deflate. The French coastguard swiftly initiated a rescue operation, managing to save 66 people by 1.15 am local time.
The incident was further marred by the loss of one life and the critical injury of another individual. These recent crossings were the first after a two-week hiatus, with government records showing 118 arrivals on December 3.
As of Saturday, the total count of English Channel crossings this year reached 29,382, a decrease from the 45,195 reported at the same time last year.
James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, expressed his views on social media, condemning the ruthless practices of people smugglers and highlighting the government’s efforts to prevent such dangerous crossings and save lives.
Another tragic event unfolded when a 25-year-old Sudanese man died of a cardiac arrest following confrontations with French riot police after a boat sank near Calais. This incident led to the arrest of five individuals, including a suspected people smuggler.
The Prime Minister’s office emphasised Rishi Sunak’s dedication to halting small boat crossings from France to the UK. The English Channel, known for its busy and hazardous conditions, has witnessed several tragic incidents, including the loss of six lives in August and at least 27 migrants in November 2021.