Home   Dover   News   Article

Missing migrant woman feared dead after incident off Thanet

Dangerous migrant crossings have to stop, an MP warned after what is thought to be the first death at sea.

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke spoke out after a search for a woman in the Channel had to be called off.

He said: "Sadly this tragic incident is exactly what we feared would happen.

Charlie Elphicke: says this tragedy was feared
Charlie Elphicke: says this tragedy was feared

"Our thoughts and prayers go to the woman and her family – as well as our hopes that she still might be found.

"Yet these dangerous crossings have to stop. The only way is for traffickers and migrants to know that they won't succeed.

"That means 24/7 surveillance of the French coast – investing in the long-range thermal imaging cameras used elsewhere in the world – so that any boats are seen, intercepted and returned straight back to France."

HM Coastguard was scrambled on Friday after 20 suspected migrants were spotted in a small vessel off the North Foreland, Thanet.

They were joined in the search by Ramsgate RNLI.

By 2pm on Saturday both the coastguards and Home Office confirmed the search had ended in the sea near Ramsgate.

The hunt had been co-ordinated with Belgian coastguards and the remaining 19 people were rescued.

Three people had been initially reported missing but two were found.

The group was made up of nine men, four women, and four children. They said they were from Iran and Iraq.

The coastguard helicopter had been called out
The coastguard helicopter had been called out

There has been a trend over the last year of migrants trying to cross the Channel by small craft despite repeated warnings of the dangers by both British and French authorities.

There have been arrivals in Kingsdown near Deal, Romney Marsh, Folkestone, and Dover.

Migrants have either landed by themselves or been rescued at sea and brought ashore for interview and processing.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

Read more: All the latest news from Romney Marsh

Read more:All the latest news from Thanet

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