Migrants: new shipwreck in the English Channel, one dead and one person seriously injured

A migrant died on the night of Thursday December 14 to Friday December 15, and another was seriously injured off the coast of Gravelines (North) after the boat on which they were trying to cross the Channel sank, announced Friday morning the maritime prefecture

Migrants: new shipwreck in the English Channel, one dead and one person seriously injured

A migrant died on the night of Thursday December 14 to Friday December 15, and another was seriously injured off the coast of Gravelines (North) after the boat on which they were trying to cross the Channel sank, announced Friday morning the maritime prefecture.

In total, sixty-six people were rescued, including these two victims found “unconscious”, the prefecture said in a press release. One of them, “with a life-threatening condition, was evacuated by helicopter to Calais hospital”, and the second “unfortunately could not be resuscitated”.

In the middle of the night, the regional operational maritime surveillance and rescue center (Cross) was informed “that a migrant boat” was in difficulty “less than eight kilometers from the coast off Grand-Fort”, a she recounted. The Cross then engaged a rescue vessel. As they approached the boat, the crew informed the Cross that one of the boat's tubes was "deflated" and that people were "in the water". All of the rescued castaways were “disembarked and taken care of at the port of Calais”. Searches in the area are continuing by air and sea, the prefecture said.

Gérald Darmanin in Calais on Friday

The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, is expected in Calais on Friday morning, where he is due to meet police and gendarmes engaged in the fight against irregular immigration.

Since the 1990s and after the closure in 2002 of a Red Cross center in Sangatte (Pas-de-Calais), hundreds of exiles have crowded into tents and makeshift shelters in Calais or to Dunkirk to try to reach the United Kingdom, hidden in trucks or by boat.

Some 29,000 migrants have crossed the Channel on small boats to reach England since the start of the year, compared to 44,000 last year on the same date, the Northern prefecture said on December 4.