Five migrants dead including one child after fall from small boat off French coast

Five migrants dead including one child after fall from small boat off French coast

Three men, one woman, and one child, have died after attempting to cross the Channel

GB News
Mark White

By Mark White

Published: 23/04/2024

- 09:02

Updated: 23/04/2024

- 11:57

At least five migrants have died while attempting to cross the English Channel in a small boat in the early hours today

A child is among five migrants who died after their small boat got into difficulties off a French beach this morning, officials have confirmed.

The French coastguard said three men, a woman and a child lost their lives in the incident north of Boulogne.

Those who died were on one of a small number of packed boats that pushed off from the beach at Wimereux in the early hours.

A French coastguard spokesperson said: "After an initial stranding on a sandbank, the boat set out to sea again.

Migrants arriving into Britain

Five migrants lost their lives off the French coast

GB News

"A crowd movement apparently occurred in the overloaded boat, causing several victims."

French maritime rescue vessels and two helicopters took part in the operation to recover migrants from the freezing waters.

The beach at Wimereux was the scene of a similar tragedy in January when five migrants drowned after their small boat got into difficulties.

The incident happened just hours after the Prime Minister's flagship Rwanda bill was passed in Parliament.

Responding to the news of the latest migrant deaths, UK Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "These tragedies have to stop. I will not accept a status quo which costs so many lives.


Border Force vessel in the Channel

A Border Force vessel in the Channel this morning

GB News

"This Government is doing everything we can to end this trade, stop the boats and ultimately break the business model of the evil people smuggling gangs, so they no longer put lives at risk."

This morning, another four small migrant boats have been attempting to make the illegal crossing from France, GB News can reveal.

Conditions in the Channel have improved after more than a week of poor weather prevented small boat crossings.

However, GB News Kent producer said conditions were "still borderline, with northerly winds gusting from time to time."

One of the boats left a beach near Calais at first light and was escorted by a French border force vessel towards UK waters.

GB News can also reveal that another three small boats launched from an area near Wimereux, the site of this morning's earlier tragedy.

Latest Home Office figures showed the number of migrants arriving by small boats across the Channel had increased by 24 per cent this year.

6,265 Channel migrants arrived since 1 January, compared to 5,049 over the same period in 2023.

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