Monday, October 2

The English Channel saw the rescue of 50 migrants after a capsized boat, which resulted in the death of six migrants.

French authorities reported that an overloaded boat carrying migrants capsized in the English Channel before dawn on Saturday, resulting in at least six fatalities and more than 50 individuals being saved.

The Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea reported that approximately 65 individuals were on board the vessel, with two others potentially lost in the water.

Initially, six people were extracted from the water by rescuers, with six in critical condition. One of the victims was transported to a hospital in Calais and later died while the remaining five perished and were brought back to shore by helicopter.

A migrant boat capsized off the coast of Calais this morning, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims.”

The fatalities occur as the Conservative Party in Britain tries to put an end to the use of unfit vessels, with criticisms that they are not doing enough to prevent the movement of migrants.

During the milder weather, French officials noted a significant increase in attempted crossings from the coast since Thursday. Meanwhile, British authorities reported that 755 people had crossed the channel in small boats on Thursday, which is the highest daily number this year.

There had been a 15% decrease in small boat arrivals since last year, and as of Thursday, only 15 were reported this year.

In the previous year, five migrants perished and four were reported missing while crossing from the northern coast of France. Meanwhile, a boat carrying migrants sank in November 2021 killing 27 people.

Border Force officials met with U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman on Saturday, who had previously blamed the incident on Twitter and referred to it as a “tragic loss of life.”

Braverman’s spokesperson stated that the incident was a sad reminder of the serious risks associated with crossing the Channel in small boats and the need to disrupt the business model of people smugglers.

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, has made “stop the boats” a central political theme and has been unsuccessful in his attempts to promote it.

The primary focus of measures designed to prevent people from putting their lives at risk on the sea is on legislation that would deport refugees arriving illegally back to their home country or a safer third country. However, plans to fly people to Rwanda have been dismissed by an appeals court and are now being appealed by the Supreme Court.

The Conservatives kicked off the “small boats week” week by announcing that the first batch of asylum seekers had arrived in essentially ‘a floating dormitory’ moored near England’s south coast.

The lease of the Bibby Stockholm barge, previously used to house workers from oil rigs, was done to reduce the 6 million pounds ($7.6 million) spent on hotels per day for approximately 51,000 asylum seekers.

The Home Office confirmed that the ship had enough people on board to accommodate 500 men, but evacuations were necessary due to the discovery of legionnaires’ disease bacteria in the water.

Sunak’s policies have faced severe criticism from charity groups for refugees and the opposition Labour Party, while his fellow Tories have also been heavily criticized over the barge fiasco.

The barge’s functionality, as argued by MP David Davis, would only accommodate a few new arrivals in ten days and the need for faster asylum claim processing was highlighted.

The Home Office’s incompetence was the most noticeable aspect, as stated by Davis on BBC Radio 4. “It’d be incredibly difficult to identify how this could have been prevented at every level.”

The deaths were a tragic accident that could have been prevented by the U.K. permitting asylum seekers to seek sanctuary in France and reach Britain safely, according to Steve Smith, CEO of Care4Calais.

Smith stated that the loss of lives highlighted the necessity for a secure passage to the UK for refugees. “It would result in the people smugglers being forced to shut down their businesses overnight,” he added.

A report from a patrol boat about migrant vessel in distress near Sangatte in France led to the start of scouting and search operations on Saturday, with British and French vessels involved. A search and rescue operation was launched, using 370 ships and helicopters that searched the area, while two British ships assisted in the search.

A French boat managed to transport 36 individuals to the port of Calais, while rescuers in the U.K. rescued at least 22 others who were later transported to Dover.

The Boulogne prosecutor’s office is conducting an investigation into the incident.

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