Posted by on November 24, 2021 5:01 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Dozens of migrants drown attempting to cross English Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants crossing from France, come ashore aboard the local lifeboat at Dungeness, southern England, Tuesday July 20, 2021. A group or people were picked up by lifeboat following a small boat incident in the English Channel. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP) Gareth Fuller/AP

Dozens of migrants drown attempting to cross English Channel

Christopher Hutton November 24, 04:03 PMNovember 24, 04:03 PM

More than 30 migrants drowned while attempting to cross the English Channel to the United Kingdom, according to authorities.

The tragedy amassed the highest death toll on record for migrants trying to cross the arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates England and France after the dinghy carrying the migrants capsized, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Gerald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, described what happened as “the biggest (migrant) tragedy that we have seen.” The minister said 31 people had died, including five women and one young girl. He also said two people were rescued. One other person was considered missing.


Local maritime authorities said they quickly sent out rescue ships after a fishing vessel alerted them that several people were castaways at sea.

“The operation is still ongoing; several of those who were shipwrecked have been picked up,” one maritime authority said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that “France will not let the Channel become a cemetery” and promised to “find and condemn those responsible” for the tragedy.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is “shocked, appalled and deeply saddened” by the 31 deaths. He also said the U.K. has not done enough to stem the flow of migrants across the English Channel and “that the gangs who are sending people to sea in these dangerous crafts will literally stop at nothing.”

The mayor of Calais, France, Natacha Bouchart, blamed Johnson for the tragedy, claiming that “our region has had to take measures because he doesn’t have the courage to take on some responsibilities.”


Macron called for a meeting of “European ministers faced with the migration challenge.”

Migrants crossing the English Channel via ship have increased significantly in recent months. The BBC estimates that as of November, more than 23,000 migrants had attempted to cross in 2021. Only 8,404 traveled the channel in 2020.

© 2021 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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