A tragic incident occurred in the English Channel early on Saturday morning, when a boat carrying migrants from France to Britain capsized, killing at least six people and injuring several others. The boat was one of many that attempted to make the perilous crossing at the same time, according to local authorities.
A large-scale rescue operation was launched around 6 a.m. local time, involving five French ships, two British ships and a helicopter. The French Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea said that 50 people were rescued, some of them in serious condition. One person was declared dead after being evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Calais.
The Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and has strong currents. Human traffickers often overload rickety dinghies, leaving them barely afloat and at risk of being swamped by the waves. One volunteer who was on board one of the rescue boats described how the migrants tried to bale water out of their sinking vessel using their shoes.