Home UK News ‘UK and France row’ over failure to help 27 who drowned in Channel disaster

‘UK and France row’ over failure to help 27 who drowned in Channel disaster

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27 migrants drown

Five French soldiers have been charged with neglecting to assist 27 individuals who died while attempting to cross the English Channel in the worst incident involving small boats in history.

According to a judicial source, nine individuals have been taken into custody and five have been formally charged in connection with the catastrophe.

According to AFP, those accused included three women and two men who were working at the Channel rescue centre at the time.

The catastrophe prompted a dispute between the United Kingdom and France, with each party attempting to place the blame for the failure to rescue the deceased on the other.

The British and French coastguards required 12 hours to respond to the initial Mayday call.

The first distress contact to the French coastguard was made shortly before 2:15 a.m. on 21 November 2021, according to call logs disclosed to attorneys as part of the French government’s investigation into the disaster.

The boat overturned at approximately 3:15 a.m.

A short time later, at 3.30 a.m., a passenger reported that a portion of the party, consisting primarily of Iraqi Kurds, was in the water.

The French authorities responded “Yes, but you are in English waters, Sir.”

Between 3.40 a.m. and sunrise at 7.30 a.m., those on board made over twenty distress calls. The rescue services arrived at the scene at approximately 2:00 p.m., and all but two of the group had drowned or died of exposure.

Throughout the night, the UK coastguard, which was responsible for recording emergency communications and coordinating search and rescue operations in the Channel, denied that the dinghy was in British waters and repeatedly instructed the passengers to contact the French coastguard.

The French records indicate that the vessel entered British waters at 2:30 a.m.

A spokesperson for Utopia 56, an organisation that represents migrants, praised the allegations.

Flore Judet remarked, “From a criminal standpoint, we can only be pleased with the progress being made.”

According to the AFP, those detained were from the French rescue service Cross Gris Nez, which is responsible for Channel rescues.

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