Four dead after boat carrying migrants capsizes off France

Clay Curtis
October 28, 2020

One man drowned, while a woman, along with two children - aged five and eight - suffered cardiac arrests and never recovered.

Mr Tourmente noted that the weather conditions for crossing the Channel on Tuesday "were not favourable at all", with powerful gusts of wind recorded.

Search and rescue boats and military resources desperately scoured the sea off the French coast for hours, looking for any survivors.

The alarm was triggered by a yacht reporting search and rescue services.

French maritime officials routinely rescue migrants trying to cross the Channel and warn against the risky crossing.

An investigation into the cause of the sinking has been opened by the public prosecutor in Dunkirk. The others, including small children between the age of 5 and 8-years-old, are reported to be in "a state of hypothermia" in hospitals in Calais and Dunkirk, according to Le Figaro.

At least four migrants, including two young children, died Tuesday when their boat capsized while they and other migrants tried to cross the English Channel to Britain, French authorities said.

French citizenship minister Marlene Schiappa said she learned of the tragic incident with "great sadness".

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"We have feared that we would see a tragedy like this for a long time because the boats are incredibly risky, the journey is perilous and we've seen an increase in the number of these small boat crossings, these really flimsy boats".

Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins said: "This is an avoidable tragedy and shows how important it is for migrant boats to be intercepted at sea before they get to the United Kingdom side of the channel". She said 19 people had been confirmed aboard the boat, but the overall toll "is serious, and still uncertain".

He said his government "will do all we can to crack down on the ruthless criminal gangs who prey on vulnerable people by facilitating these risky journeys".

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his "thoughts are with the loved ones of those who tragically lost their lives in the Channel today". This tragedy highlights the dangers that come with crossing the Channel and I will do everything I can to stop callous criminals exploiting vulnerable people'.

Clare Mosely of migrant support group Care4Calais said: "This unnecessary loss of life has to stop".

"These perilous crossings must be stopped, once and for all, before there is more loss of life in these stormy winter seas".

For anyone to lose their lives in the cold sea like this is bad, and when young children are involved it just makes it even more distressing.

She demanded that the incident be a "wake-up call" for those in power in Britain and France.

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