More than two dozen people drowned when a boat heading from France to Britain capsized in the English Channel on Wednesday. Families with young children were put on crowded dinghies as they attempted a treacherous voyage that ended in the worst loss of life on record for migrants in the narrow waters.
French authorities were alerted to the bodies in the water by a fishing boat. A joint French-British search and rescue mission rescued dozens – but for many, it was too late.
French officials said the dead included women and a young girl.
The tragedy comes as the number of migrants attempting dangerous crossings has increased this year. Despite the threat, more than 25,000 migrants crossed the border in 2021, most of them arriving in the UK on Wednesday.
“My thoughts and sympathies are first and foremost with the victims and their families. This is a terrible thing they have suffered, but I would also like to say that this tragedy indicates that such a channel How dangerous it is to cross. ” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.
France and Britain have accused each other of failing to take further steps to curb the flow of migrants into busy shipping lanes between northern France and southern England. Officials on both sides of the channel had warned that such a tragedy was only a matter of time.