Rescue Mission Launched To Save 40 Migrants As Boat Begins To Sink In The Channel
A rescue mission is underway in the English Channel after a boat carrying 40 migrants started to sink.
It’s believed the vessel began filling up with water on its approach to the UK earlier this morning, August 12.
One person has been airlifted to hospital, but the rescue is still ongoing according to authorities in France. Both Belgian and French air and sea units are working together to secure their safety.
Rescue units began carrying out searches at 10.00am, following reports from a cargo ship that a boat with 40 passengers was sinking off the coast of Dunkirk. At this point, some had already fallen overboard, Metro reports.
One unconscious person was moved onto the cargo ship’s lifeboat before being transported onto a French Navy vessel and airlifted to a Calais hospital. His current condition isn’t known, but it’s believed he suffered cardio-respiratory arrest.
Others were also hoisted into the helicopter as the boat continued to sink, with some taken aboard nearby fishing vessels. Search and rescue operations are continuing in the Dover Strait as a French Navy helicopter surveys the area for any stranded passengers.
French authorities intercepted nearly 110 people trying to cross the channel on Wednesday, August 11, with one airlifted to a Dunkirk hospital.
More than 10,000 people have tried to travel from France to the UK since the start of 2021, an increase from 8,410 attempting it last year. Last week saw 482 people trying to cross in just one day, topping the earlier record of 430 on July 19.
Many have died attempting the journey, including Rasoul Iran-Nejad and his wife Shiva Mohammad Panahi and their three children, who passed away on October 27, 2020, when their boat capsized. Their 15-month-old son Artin was reported missing for months, with his body discovered on the Norwegian coast earlier this year.
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