Mayday call by coastguard emerges after 27 die in English Channel

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The sad call for May Day by the French Coast Guard comes in response to a boat capsizing in the English Channel that has killed 27 people.

Audio clips obtained by Sky News captured the dramatic moment when the French Coast Guard alerted all boats in the area to rescue those who fell at sea.

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The radio operator provides the coordinates of the capsized boat and requests that any nearby ships be present to help, as there are 15 people in the water.

In the clip, the operator can be heard saying: “Mayday Riley, Mayday Riley, Mayday Riley. This is Gris-nez emergency, Gris-naz emergency, Gris-nez emergency.

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“Information number one: May Day. 15 men fell overboard, approx. 15 men overboard.”

They say: “All ships in this area are requested to [unclear] Look forward to moving in this area to contact and report any information to the Gris-nez emergency that coordinates this operation.

Twenty-seven people – 17 men, seven women, two teenage boys and a girl – were trying to cross in a canoe from France to Britain near Calais.

Two people survived and were taken to the hospital with hypothermia.

The May Day call surfaced after French President Emmanuel Macron intensified a war of words with the UK over migrant crossings.

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Mr Macron is said to have told Boris Johnson that he expected “the British to cooperate fully and refrain from using a sad situation for political purposes”.

Speaking during a visit to Croatia, Mr Macron himself said that cooperation and confrontation are the keys to the resolution of the crisis.

“We’re going to ask the British for extra help because all these men and these women don’t want asylum in France,” Macron said.

“We tell them they’re clearly capable of doing this, and there are centers in Calais and Dunkirk where they can go, but we’re really going to reinforce them to save them at sea.”

According to Downing Street, both Mr Johnson and Mr Macron said they would “put all options on the table” and “agreed on the urgency of pursuing joint efforts to prevent these deadly crossings”.

He has suggested to investigators that his boat collided with a passing container ship before falling into the channel.

In response to the tragedy, a Border Force official has suggested that a joint UK-French patrol at sea would be more effective in tackling the migrant crisis than putting “more shoes on the ground” in Calais.

Tony Smith believes that such a plan would prevent people from drowning but it would require the right “political agreement” from both countries.

His remarks came after Home Secretary Priti Patel told lawmakers that her French counterpart had been offered joint patrols “once again”, adding: “I offered to work with France to keep officers on the ground.” And do whatever is necessary to secure the area so that vulnerable people don’t put their lives at risk by boarding seaworthy boats.”

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, she said: “We have to find a joint solution and if it really means doing more with France and persuading them to seek more support, then we will be able to do that to every sinner.” Will stress completely.”

Meanwhile, Macron’s claim of Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin that the five alleged smugglers arrested hours after the tragedy were “directly linked” to it appears to be false.

Lille prosecutors leading a murder investigation into the multiple deaths said there was “no verifiable link” between the unidentified people and the capsized boat.

State prosecutor Carol Etienne in Lille also confirmed that the dead included 17 men, seven women, and two boys and a girl.

There were two survivors – men of Iraqi and Somali nationality who suffered from severe hypothermia at a hospital in Calais on Thursday.

He has suggested to investigators that his boat collided with a passing container ship before falling into the channel.

Meanwhile, a French police source said a body that had been washed away on the beach in Sangte on Thursday afternoon could “be a missing person” from the capsized boat.

He added: “All indications are that the body has been in the water for 24 hours, but it is not yet confirmed that he was on the boat that capsized.”

If the body is of one of the migrants, the death toll will rise to 28 with two survivors.

However, investigators indicated that the figures could change as more information becomes available as no one knows how many people drowned on the boat.

Former Border Force boss Tony Smith said joint patrols at sea could prevent people from drowning. (Gareth Fuller / PA)

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Former Border Force boss Tony Smith said joint patrols at sea could prevent people from drowning. (Gareth Fuller / PA)

, PA Wire

Interior Minister Mr. Darmanin said none of the victims had passports or identity cards and that police were unsure of their nationality.

Absence of documents is common as it makes it difficult for authorities to return migrants to their countries of origin.

Very few of those on the boat were wearing life jackets, and are believed to have succumbed to hypothermia in the extremely cold waters before sinking.

Bernard Barron, president of the SNSM rescue service in Calais, spoke of ‘group murder’ as he described how a ‘floating death trap’ involving up to 10 people was ‘completely disfigured when we found it’.

Mr. Barron said: “Migrants are forced into boats, and their feet are in water and fuel. These are unimaginable conditions.

“Often only women and children have life jackets, and these boats do not have navigation lights or radar receivers.”

Charles Devos, one of the first SNSM rescuers to reach the victims, said: ‘We have seen the boats become more and more overcrowded.

“The inflatables are designed for only 10 people, but with over 50 people packed on board, turning them into floating death traps.

Priti Patel said she has made various offers of additional support to France (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA).

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Priti Patel said she has made various offers of additional support to France (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA).

, PA Media

“We always thought that, one day or another, they were going to hit a container ship or a yacht.”

Rescuers believe the boat left Loon-Plage near Dunkirk on Wednesday morning and collided with a container ship on French territorial waters.

The incident was the deadliest of its kind ever in the U.S., and a fisherman raised the alarm at 2 p.m. after seeing bodies floating in the sea.

Jean-Marc Puisseau, president of the Ports of Calais and Boulogne, also accused the smugglers of being murderers, saying: “Poor migrants spent months and months coming here, and died so close to their dreams.”

The tragedy came as migrants rushed to make dangerous crossings ahead of winter storms that are expected to spread widely this weekend.

French Interior Minister Mr Darmanin revealed that 255 migrants arrived in the UK on Wednesday.

These included about 40 who were allowed out to sea near Boulogne by a French police car, with at least two officers doing nothing. They landed in Dungeness at around 2.45 pm.

Migrants queue for food at a makeshift camp in Calais (Gareth Fuller/PA)

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Migrants queue for food at a makeshift camp in Calais (Gareth Fuller/PA)

, PA Wire

And Calais mayor Natacha Bouchert said: “I have been warning for weeks and months that such a tragedy is bound to happen.”

He said the migrants paid between £2000 and £6000 to build the crossing, leading to a ‘mafia-style’ criminal operation that was more profitable than drugs.

‘I say that’s enough,’ said Ms Bouchert, as she accused Britain of lax benefits…

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