Man declared dead after being removed from the English Channel | Immigration and asylum

A man has died trying to cross the English Channel to the UK.

French authorities said the man was found unconscious and pulled out of the water after falling overboard.

A total of 32 people were rescued off Berck, near Calais, suffering from hypothermia. Among them, five were found stranded on a sandbar.

An investigation has been opened by the Boulogne-sur-Mer prosecutor’s office.

Prosecutors said the deceased man was in his 20s and believed to be of Sudanese descent.

The latest attempts at the dangerous crossing come despite sub-zero temperatures on the French coast, with at least one boat believed to have reached the UK.

Video believed to have been filmed from Dover on Friday showed a Border Force boat bringing at least 25 people in life jackets ashore. They included women and children and a limping man.

Several Border Force ships have been active in the English Channel.

The death comes after at least 271 people aboard 10 small boats reached Britain on Thursday, including a young child. So far this year, more than 450 people have made the life-threatening journey in small boats after a record year in 2021.

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: “It is devastating to hear that another person has lost their life trying to cross the English Channel. Our hearts go out to them and their loved ones, who do not may not even know what happened yet.This loss comes far too soon after 27 people died late last year.

“Every death in the English Channel is a tragedy. It should be unacceptable to us that people are forced to make dangerous crossings in freezing conditions in search of safety. No one is putting their life in danger in this way unless they feels he has no other choice and is totally hopeless.

“There are no simple answers, but we urge the government to rethink its plans to make the UK asylum system harder to access. This should start with ambitious plans for safe new routes and a commitment to resettle 10,000 people a year.

A Channel Rescue spokesperson said: ‘Our thoughts are with their loved ones. This tragedy could have been avoided by providing safe routes. The inhumane policies of the British and European governments must stop. We hope that those missing at sea will be rescued soon and that there will be no more loss of life today.