Migrant crisis heightens as almost 600 people cross the English Channel, setting a new daily record.
Nearly 600 people crossed the English Channel on Thursday, August, 12, setting a new record for a single day. More than 11,000 migrants have made the perilous journey across the Dover Strait on small boats so far this year, according to a UK government Home Office report.
According to the Home Office figures, they intercepted or rescued at least 592 people attempting to arrive at Kent beaches on Thursday, with French authorities saying they intercepted at least 155 people on the same day.
This broke the previous record set last week, on August 4, when 482 people crossed over to the UK. Thursday, August 12, saw a group of 40 migrants rescued by French and Belgian authorities with the help of two fishing boats when their vessel began to sink, putting all the lives of the migrants at risk.
French authorities reported that one person was rescued unconscious and air-lifted to a nearby hospital. Sadly, reports are that a 27-year-old died after he jumped overboard when the boat started to sink in the Dover Strait.
“The helicopter picked up 10 people, but they dropped them back on the boat, the [French Navy’s] Flamant. Just one (the 27-year-old) that they picked up went directly to the hospital,” Nikolai Posner from French migrant help association Utopia 56 told PA.
A manslaughter investigation has been launched following the tragic death.
UK checks on funding to France to fight illegal immigration
The UK is working to address this challenge and last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin signed a new agreement to strengthen UK-France cooperation to tackle small boat crossings.
This agreement will see the number of police patrolling French beaches more than double for the second time in a year, so far preventing over 8,000 attempts by migrants to enter the UK – nearly treble the number for the same period in 2020.
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