One survivor from the Channel Crossing tragedy claimed that authorities on both sides refused to save migrants as the boat sinks.
Mohammed Shekha 21, a 21-year-old, described how he made frantic calls to British authorities in an attempt to rescue his family. Both denied the responsibility.
Last Wednesday, 27 drowned while heading for the UK.
Last night, Mr Shekha, one of only two survivors, said the boat’s occupants held each other’s hands in the water before succumbing to the icy sea.
Rudaw the Kurdish state radioman, stated that 33 people had travelled to Dunkirk on Tuesday at 8pm.
Rudaw, Kurdish state radio host, said that 33 people went to Dunkirk on Tuesday at 8pm.
Mohammed Sheka, 21, (R) is one of the only two remaining migrants who survived Wednesday’s deflating rubber dinghy with 29 migrants. Fatima (Fatima’s 18-year-old sister), is Mohammed Sheka, who is travelling to Britain in order to get money for medical procedures.
Mubin, pictured in the back, was aboard with Kazhal Ahmed (45), and his two sisters Haida and Hasti (22) and seven respectively. They all are believed to have died.
He said: ‘We started moving after half an hour. Everything worked perfectly until dawn. The boat was small and the water had gotten in from the back. It was dark. We all tried to get the water out. That’s when we saw a big ship.’
A young shepherd whose family lives in northern Iraq said that some immigrants wanted to swim to this ship.
‘Some of us said, “let’s go to the ship” and the others rejected it and said “no, we have to reach Britain”. Then the ship disappeared and the right side of the boat was losing air.’
A 16-year old Iraqi boy named Mubin Hussein was aboard the ship with his two sisters and mother. He made desperate calls to get help.
Mr Shekha said: ‘We then called French police and they told us to send a live location. So we sent them the location, but they said “you are in British territory, we cannot do anything”. We then called the British, but they said “no, call the French”.
Mubin was aboard the ship with Kazhal Ahmed, his father, 45 and Haida and Hasti, 22 and seven respectively. All of them are now believed to be dead.
Following frantic calls made to authorities, the boat began losing most of its power and eventually stopped moving. The current then pushed the boat back towards France.
Mr Shekha said: ‘That’s when people started falling into the water. So to rescue them we were all holding each other’s hands, all of us, the 33. It was night for just a few more hours.
‘The sun was out, but we couldn’t hold on any longer. They all crossed into the ocean without holding onto each other. They died.’
A French sea rescue boat was seen carrying the bodies of migrants recovered off the coast of Calais this evening as police said they had arrested four alleged people smugglers thought to be connected to the tragedy which saw at least 27 migrants, including five women and a girl, down today as they tried to cross the Channel
At the moment, 27 are dead. However, it’s feared that others might be still missing.
Mister Shekha recalled the pain of not being able save his friend.
‘There was a guy from Ranyia [in Iraqi Kurdistan]. They promised to keep their vows until the end. I was holding his hand but he couldn’t make it. I was asked to let go of his hand. Although I refused to say yes, he insists. He said, “I’m going to go in front of you, just don’t hold my hand.” I stopped holding his hand and then I couldn’t see him again. He died.’
Mr Shekha, who was subdued during the interview, which was conducted from an undisclosed location, expressed his anger that authorities failed to rescue those onboard, saying: ‘We died there and they didn’t come to help us.’
Rudaw the Kurdish state broadcaster stated that 33 people went on Tuesday to Dunkirk for an interview.
After fishermen raised alarm, the French coastguard finally saved the young Kurd.
Mr Shekha claimed ruthless human traffickers now wanted to kill him, saying: ‘My life is under threat because the smugglers say, “if we catch you, we will kill you. We will not let you live”.’
He needed $60,000 to help his family, Mr Shekha, who moved from Iran to Iraq ten years ago. [£45,000]To pay for an operation on his younger sister Fatima.
Asked whether he still wanted to go to Britain, he said: ‘I will do whatever it takes for my sister.
‘I hope Britain will bring me to their country so that I can raise the money and then I will go back to my parents and my family.
‘Because of the threats, we need to stay in a safe place and we are waiting for something to be done for us to protect us.’
The flimsy and dangerous dinghy that sank off Calais on Wednesday, killing 27 people including seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children
He said that he traveled to France via Germany through Belarus, and then on to France via Germany via Poland. There he spent around one week in the forest at the border of the two countries.
The tragedy left him as one of two survivors, with the other being a Somalian known locally as Omer. They both suffered from exhaustion and hypothermia as they were pulled out of the water.
While the majority of people on board were Kurdish speaking, Mr Shekha stated that there were four to five Somalians, four Iranian Kurdistan residents, four Egyptians, and one Vietnamese.
The heartbreaking interview lasted twenty minutes. The Kurdish reporter displayed pictures to Mr Shekha of suspected victims including Mubin’s family.
Asked whether the pictured family were on board, Mr Shekha immediately said, “yes, they were on board” and started to cry.
The children’s father, Rizgar Hussein, is a policeman who remained in the family’s hometown of Darbandikhan, in Iraq. Their mother left with their four-month-old children in search for a better future.
Just hours after an additional group of 40 migrants launched dinghies out of France, police captured at least 27 drowning migrants trying to cross the Channel to reach the UK.
Mr Hussein, speaking to local media, said: ‘I got a call from my daughter at 10’oclock Iraqi time. She said, “we have been on board for five minutes”. This was the last time that we spoke. I haven’t been able to contact them since.
‘If this incident hadn’t happened I wouldn’t mind not hearing from them for a month. But now that this incident happened, it’s very hard for me.’
His children all attended school. Hasti, his youngest child was attending primary school. Their father stated that their children had made a promise to continue studying once they arrive in Europe.
He described his family as ‘normal people’, adding: ‘They were not happy here. They desired a happy life. Every parent desires a happy life for their children. That’s what I wanted.’
They arrived in Turkey only with $5,000. This forced them to leave their home in Iraq and sell it for $30,000.
Hussein stated that they used the money to pay the smugglers.
Officials from the French Coastguard said that they could not comment on last night’s incident due to an ongoing investigation. Border Force representatives were contacted for comment.