Priti Patel says deaths of up to three migrants who are feared to have drowned in the Channel is an ‘absolute tragedy’ after rescue effort was called off

  • After crossing from France earlier this week, migrants are still not identified
  • Two Somali nationals were rescued by the Essex coast on Monday.
  • Today, the Home Secretary stated that it was a tragedy. It is a tragedy. 

Priti Patel said today, one a visit to the Thames Valley Police training centre: 'It is a tragedy. It is an absolute tragedy, it really is'

Today, Priti Patel stated that she visited the Thames Valley Police Training Centre and found it to be a tragedy. It is an absolute tragedy.

Priti Patel today said the deaths of up to three migrants who are feared to have drowned in the Channel after trying to reach Britain by boat was an ‘absolute tragedy’.

After crossing from France to the UK by a dinghy earlier this month, the individuals remain unaccounted for.

Two Somalian nationals, both of Essex coast, were rescued Monday. Now, search for any survivors has been stopped.

Priti Patel, a visiting officer at the Thames Valley Police Training Centre (Reading), stated today that it was a tragedy. It is an absolute tragedy.

“Clearly, there is an investigation taking place right now. We must allow that investigation process to occur.

“But I can assure everyone that my work with France and other counterparts is based on stopping the loss or life.”

Ms. Patel answered a question about what she would tell their families: “It’s terrible, it’s tragic, it is absolutely appalling.”

“We want to stop human life loss, and all that we do as a government is focusing on ensuring that other governments work in co-operation with other countries to get to the root of these problems, which is to end people-smuggling.”

Two men - both Somali nationals - were rescued off the Essex coast on Monday and searches for any remaining survivors have now been called off. Pictured is a search boat on Tuesday

Two Somali nationals were rescued off the Essex coast by rescuers on Monday. Now, searches for any survivors have been stopped. Pictured is Tuesday’s searchboat

The rescue operation involved Border Force, RNLI lifeboats, and the Coastguard. It began Monday afternoon near Harwich.

However, a ‘extensive’ search for a third man was stopped at 2pm on Tuesday. No further searches are believed to be ongoing.

It is believed that rescue crews were told by the two men who were brought ashore that there were initially five people aboard the boat as it left France on Saturday. Two of them fell overboard on the weekend.

One person was still missing from the boat when it entered the UK search zone for international waters, about 30 miles off Essex’s coast.

PA was told by sources that officials are unable to confirm whether someone died. The reports of how many people were in a boat after it entered water are unverified. Also, searches have not been able so far to determine whether anyone actually entered the water.

Campaigners and aid charities raised alarm following the incident. They urged the Government to do more for those seeking safety to ensure they don’t have to make the dangerous crossing.

The rescue operation, involving Border Force, RNLI lifeboats and the Coastguard, began on Monday afternoon near the port town of Harwich

The rescue operation, which involved Border Force, RNLI Lifeboats and Coastguard, began Monday afternoon near Harwich.

On Wednesday, the Home Secretary defended her department’s policies and said that efforts to combat migrant crossings were about’saving lives’ and preventing people from drowning.

She stated to the Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee that she did not want to see people die at sea.

“We want people to not drown at sea. This is something I cannot stress enough.

When asked if a tactic that allows Border Force officers turn migrant boats towards France meets maritime and human rights laws, and whether it puts lives at risk, she repeatedly said that it had a ‘legal foundation’ and added: ‘None is illegal.

It is believed that Monday’s rescue boat was not subjected to a Border Force turnback operation before the incident.