Tragedy in the English Channel – the narrow sea that continues to claim lives

Since the start of last year, more than 30,000 people have taken the risk of sailing to Britain aboard dinghies, kayaks and other small boats.

But the dangerous sea voyage has claimed many lives, triggering a wave of misery and repeated promises of action from governments on both sides of the Channel.

A stone’s throw from the dock where migrants bundled in blankets against the cold are brought to Dover, there is a serene memorial to those who have lost their lives seeking sanctuary in the UK.


A Memorial on the Beach of Dover (Steve Parsons/PA)

There have been more than 300 border-related deaths in and around the English Channel since 1999, according to a report by the Institute of Race Relations, the Permanent People’s Tribunal London Steering Group and the French Groupe Geiste.

Some of the fatal incidents in the channel are as follows:

– November 24, 2021

At least 31 people have died after a ship carrying migrants sank while trying to cross the English Channel.

The ship, compared to a pool flown by French Interior Minister Gerald Darminin, sailed between Calais and Dunkirk before sinking into the sea.

French officials said five women and a small child were among the dead.

– November 4, 2021

One man was found dead on a French beach after trying to travel to Britain, while the other was treated for hypothermia.

French officials said the man was found in Vicente, near Calais, after a search of a boat full of water.

It is believed that he was unconscious when he was pulled from the water and was pronounced dead when rescuers returned.

– October 25, 2021

At least three people are feared missing after they tried to cross the waters from France to Britain in a canoe.

Two people – both Somali nationals – were rescued off the coast of Essex, but told the crew that there were initially five people on board.

Sources told the PA news agency that officials could not be sure whether anyone had died because reports of how many people were on the boat after it entered the sea are unverified.

– August 12, 2021

A 27-year-old Eritrean man was killed after he and four others jumped overboard as their boat capsized in the English Channel.

A French migrant aid organization told the PA news agency that his 22-year-old girlfriend was seen entering the water, but was later rescued.

Returning to port in Dunkirk, she later learns that her lover had died after being taken to hospital.

About 36 people were on board the boat trying to sail to Britain after being stuck in rough seas in the Strait of Dover, prompting a major emergency response.

– March 2, 2021

Three people suffering from hypothermia were taken to hospital after the boat capsized in the English Channel.

Firefighters assisted two Sudanese citizens who reported that there were three or four people on board their ship.

A search and rescue operation was launched to try to find any other survivors and a third person was discovered close to the port of Calais.

The search for a possible fourth man at sea continued but to no avail.

– October 27, 2020

Tragedy struck again in the Strait of Dover in late October 2020, when a migrant boat sank off the coast of France, killing seven people, including five from a Kurdish-Iranian family.

Three young children, including a fifteen-month-old child, were killed along with their parents, while two other adults also lost their lives.

The family names were Rasool Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiv Mohamed Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, Armin, six, and Artin, 15 months.

They were from a village near the Iranian Kurdish city of Sardasht in West Azerbaijan Province in the north-west of Iran.

He twice attempted to travel from France to the UK by train, but both attempts failed, after which he decided to reach the UK by sea, the PA news agency understands.

The incident is believed to be the biggest loss of life during the current migrant crisis.

– October 18, 2020

Earlier this month, on October 18, around 8 a.m., the body of a man was found on a beach near Sangate outside Calais.

Prosecutor Pascal Marconville of the nearby town of Boulogne-sur-Mer said it was possible the man drowned while trying to make the crossing and that his body was washed ashore just hours later.

It is believed that he was between 20 and 40 and was probably Iranian.

– August 19, 2020

In August 2020, the body of Abdulfattah Hamdallah was found on Sangat beach just outside Calais.

After a search and rescue effort launched after a migrant was suffering from hypothermia, she said her makeshift boat capsized at sea and her partner, who could not swim, was missing and may still be in the water. Is.

The Sudanese man, aged 20, drowned.

Believed to be from West Kordofan, Sudan, he fled his country in 2014 and spent at least two years in Libya before reaching Europe.

– 14 October 2019

The bodies of two Iraqi Kurds were found on a beach in Le Touquet, off the coast of Calais.

Hussain Moffak Hussain, 22, and Soran Jamal Jalal, 17, are believed to have drowned after falling overboard while attempting to cross the English Channel in a small boat.

– August 18, 2019

The body of 47-year-old Iraqi Niknam Massoud was discovered on 23 August in the waters of the Thorntonbach wind farm off the coast of Belgium, wearing a life-jacket made of a flipper and a rucksack filled with empty plastic bottles.

Kallis is believed to have left for a swim in Britain five days ago, after being denied asylum in Germany after the registration deadline expired.

– August 9, 2019

Mitra Mehrad, a 31-year-old Iranian national who was described by her family as “a brilliant, intelligent woman” who wanted to start a new life, tries to reach the UK on a canoe with 19 others. drowned in the channel.

The BBC reported that rescue teams were dispatched to assist Dinghy in distress and his body was later found in Dutch waters.

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