Home   Dover   News   Article

Channel tragedy: More asylum seekers attempt crossing just hours after deadliest day


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

More people making the treacherous journey across the Channel have been brought ashore following yesterday's tragedy.

A group of people wearing life jackets and wrapped in blankets were seen huddled together on board an RNLI lifeboat before disembarking in Dover this morning.

A group of people thought to be asylum seekers are brought in to Dover, Kent, by the RNLI. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA
A group of people thought to be asylum seekers are brought in to Dover, Kent, by the RNLI. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA

Two boats are understood to have made the trip, carrying about 40 people.

It comes just a few hours after a dinghy capsized off the coast of Calais, causing the loss of 27 lives, a revised total after it had been reported that 31 people had died.

Bridget Chapman, Kent Refugee Action Network spokesperson, described it as an "appalling and avoidable tragedy".

She added: "We're devastated. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion - you know something dreadful is going to happen and you feel powerless to stop it.

"We have been warning for a long time that an accident of this level - it was only a matter of time before it happened.

Bridget Chapman of Kent Refugee Action Network. Picture: Alan Langley
Bridget Chapman of Kent Refugee Action Network. Picture: Alan Langley

"We didn't want to be proved right. This is an awful situation to be in.

"We're sad and I admit it, I'm really angry because I just feel this was avoidable."

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said the loss of 27 lives was an “absolute tragedy” as he blamed human trafficking gangs who promised people the “El Dorado of England” for a large fee.

Boris Johnson called on France to agree to joint police patrols along the French Channel coast, while French politicians pointed the finger at UK authorities for failing to tackle the issue.

The Prime Minister spoke to President Emmanuel Macron yesterday evening in the wake of the worst incident of its kind in the Channel.

More than 20 people drowned in the Channel yesterday

Downing Street said they had agreed to “keep all options on the table” in their efforts to break up the human trafficking gangs responsible for putting desperate people at risk in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes.

And Mr Darmanin told French radio network RTL that the smugglers are “criminals, people who exploit the misery of others, of women and children – there were pregnant women, children who died yesterday on that boat… and for a few thousand euros they promise them ‘El Dorado in England’.

“And, sadly, this has been repeated every day for the last 20 years.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More