A report has discovered that the recent agreement on illegal immigration between the UK and France is closely connected to a 100% increase in the number of people who have drowned while attempting to cross the English Channel in the past year.
According to the article, the heightened number of police on French beaches and the interception of more dinghies trying to reach the coast is causing overcrowding and chaotic attempts to board the boats, which is becoming increasingly dangerous.
In 2023, when the agreement was made, many lives were lost near the French coastline and near police patrols on the beaches. This is in contrast to previous incidents of drowning in the Channel, like the tragic event on November 24th, 2021 where at least 27 individuals lost their lives when their boat encountered trouble in the middle of the Channel.
The report states that the recent rise in fatal occurrences can be attributed to the agreement between the British and French governments to Stop The Boats.
It states that the heightened presence of law enforcement and their aggression towards certain migrants attempting to cross leads to chaotic and hazardous circumstances, causing dinghies to launch before they are completely inflated. This situation can heighten the danger of drowning in shallow waters.
The article, titled “The Negative Effects of the New Deal to Halt Boat Immigration,” denounces the rise in police brutality as the primary outcome of the previous year’s agreement.
The report analyzes data from the year prior to the March 2023 agreement and compares it to data from the year following the signing of the deal.
Alarmphone, an organization that runs a helpline for migrants in distress while crossing the sea, analyzed the data and shared location and other details with rescue services.
In 2022, three separate events resulted in the loss of six lives at sea. The following year, in 2023, there were at least six separate incidents that led to the loss of 13 lives.
On January 14 of this year, a tragic event occurred near the shore of Wimereux, north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, where five individuals lost their lives while attempting to board a dinghy with a group of over 70 people.
According to the BBC, two individuals who tragically drowned were 14-year-old Obada Abd Rabbo and his 24-year-old brother Ayser. They lost their lives just a short distance from the French coast as people attempted to board a dinghy in a rush to reach safety.
The number of crossings is expected to decrease by one-third in 2023 compared to 2022. However, there are signs that more migrants are resorting to using trucks and other means of transportation to enter the UK as the enforcement against sea crossings intensifies.
Last year, there were occurrences near the French coastline in which individuals tragically passed away. These incidents resulted in loss of life.
On August 12, 2023, six men from Afghanistan drowned in a dinghy that was overloaded and encountered problems near the coast of France.
On September 26, 2023, a 24-year-old woman from Eritrea passed away at Blériot-Plage due to suffocation in a crowd of 80 people attempting to board a single dinghy.
On 22 November 2023, three individuals perished near Équihen-Plage when their dinghy capsized near the shore. Fifty-seven people were able to make it back to the beach safely.
The report states that the UK/French agreement has exacerbated an already precarious situation, as police are still unable to stop most crossings on a busy day. It highlights the tendency of politicians to blame individuals attempting to cross as victims.
A representative from the Home Office stated: “Tragic events in the Channel are caused by perilous, unlawful, and avoidable trips in unsafe boats, made possible by criminals seeking financial gain.”
“Those seeking asylum should find refuge in the first country where it is feasible for them to do so. We are actively implementing measures to combat criminal organizations, discourage migrants from undertaking perilous journeys, and intercept vessels.”
The interior ministry of France was asked for a statement.