Téteghem Mayor Franck Dhersin, the Vice President of transport- for the north of France region, told Reuters that the death toll had risen to 31 on Wednesday night a boat capsized met migrants over the canal.
Dhersin had previously tweeted that more than 50 migrants were believed to have been on board.
“A lot of” of appear in the water,” he wrote, calling the incident “a” new tragedy.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked, appalled and deeply saddened by the loss” of life at sea.”
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“My thoughts are with the victims and their families,” he said as he called for countries until work together to prevent smugglers from facilitating channel crossings.
“This is the time for us all to step up, work together and do everything we can to stop these gangs who go away with murder,” he said.
A fisherman, Nicolas Margolle, told Reuters that he had seen at least two small dinghies earlier Wednesday.
He said that one of the boats seemed to have people on board and that the other turned out to be empty.
Margolle said another fisherman mentioned rescue operators after seeing the empty dinghy and seeing several people floating in the water in the neighbourhood.
He said there seemed to be more dinghies in the water Wednesday because the weather used to be good. “But it’s cold,” he said.
Tensions have risen over small boat crossings on the canal, with French and British officials run amok up efforts to prevent asylum seekers from making the journey.
Despite efforts on both sides, the daily number of people cross the channel on small boats reached record numbers this month with 1,185 people arrived in the UK on Nov 11 only, Sky News reported.
The number would have surpassed the previous one record of 853 people, die was reached earlier in the month. a spokesperson for the interior ministry said it couldn’t comment on the reported numbers of crossings.
Rise in kill at sea
The United Nations Migration Office warned in a report in july that the number of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who have tried Europe over reach the sea more then doubled in the first half of the year.
In the first six months of the year, at least 1146 people died while risking the journey to the European shores, according to the report of the International organization for Migration.
The UK Home Office has grown significantly in recent months up attempts to crack down on illegal migration. minister of the Interior Priti Patel submitted a bill in July to stop migrants from entering the canal over to cross to reach the UK
The British government the measure said, called the Nationality and Borders Bill, is intended to “better protect and support die in sincerely need of asylum”, to “illegal entry in to deter the UK” and to make it easier to “die” to delete with no right to be here.”
Immigration advocates and politicians have condemned the bill, and many have called for on the UK to focus on creating safe routes for asylum seekers and migrants to reach Britain instead.
“People will keep drowning” in the Channel as the government pursues a dangerous and reckless refugee policy that prioritizes hard limits and punishment instead of protection,” Tim Naor Hilton, the chief executive of the immigration lawyer group Refugee action, said in a statement.
In a statement published on Wednesday on Twitter, UK MP Zarah Sultana said she was “heartbroken” by the news of the dead on the canal.
“Let this be the time when we provide safe routes to welcome refugees to Britain, instead of endless whipping up hatred and fear,” wrote Sultana, a member of the opposition Labor party.
In a statement, Patel said her thoughts were “with the families of all these who have tragically lost their lives in French waters today.”
She said Britain will “continue to intensify” its efforts to prevent migrants from boarding on this deadly to travel.”
The deadly incident, she said, “serves as the most possible memory of the dangers of these Channel crossings organized by ruthless criminal gangs.”
“That is why the new plan of this government for Immigration Will Reshape Our Broken Asylum system and speak to many of the long-standing pull factors die encourage migrants to make the perilous journey from France to the UK,” Patel said.
The French Coast Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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