Record 828 Migrants Crossed English Channel in Small Boats in One Day

Society | August 25, 2021, Wednesday // 17:53|  views

At least 828 people made the dangerous journey across the English Channel on board small boats in a single day at the weekend – a new record for the current crisis, Evening Standard reported.

Despite repeated vows by the UK Home Office to make the route “unviable”, 30 boats succeeded in reaching the UK on Saturday, the department confirmed late on Monday night. The arrivals tally eclipses the previous daily record of 592 people set less than two weeks ago.

More than 12,400 people have now made the perilous crossing to the UK in 2021, data compiled by the PA news agency shows. But the sea journey has claimed many lives, leading to outpourings of grief and repeated promises of action from governments on both sides of the Channel.

Earlier this month, a 27-year-old man from Eritrea died after he and four other people jumped overboard as their boat started to sink in the English Channel.

Bella Sankey, director for charity Detention Action, said the Home Office “needs to confront reality”.

“Refugees will continue to come to the UK, as they have for centuries, as long as there are despots, wars and persecution in this world,” she said. “To end the use of small boats, MPs should create a humanitarian visa system for people in France who are travelling to the UK so they can arrive here in safety and with dignity to make their claims.”

Dan O’Mahoney, the Home Office’s Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: “These dangerous crossings from safe EU countries are completely unnecessary and we are determined to take down the evil criminal gangs behind them. We’re working across Government as well as with French and international partners to tackle this issue. We have doubled the number of police officers on French beaches, prevented more than 10,000 attempts, secured nearly 300 arrests and 65 prosecutions.”

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