Channel Crossings: Victims “held hands so as not to drown” after capsizing ship en route to Great Britain

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Channel Crossings: Victims “held hands so as not to drown” after capsizing ship en route to Great Britain


A survivor of the Channel Boat tragedy described how passengers held hands when the ship capsized in an attempt to save each other from drowning.

Migrant Mohammed Ibrahim Zada, 21, was on board the boat bound for Britain when it deflated and capsized. Until there 27 corps were recovered.

Mr Zada, from a Kurdish region of Iran, was one of two survivors of last Wednesday’s incident – the worst tragedy since current crisis has begun.

He said 33 passengers got on the boat between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. but a faulty pump caused it to fill with water almost immediately.

“Some people started pumping air while others drained the water from the boat,” he told Rudaw TV.

But their efforts were in vain, he said, and the boat “gradually began to sink.”

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The remains of the capsized boat in the English Channel

Mr Zada ​​said they managed to get in touch with French and British police before the boat capsized, but authorities on either side were at odds on who should send in. aid.

“We called the French police and asked them to help us,” he said.

“The pump was defective. We sent our position to the French police, and they said, you are in British waters.

“So we were inside British water and called the British police for help, but they said to call the French police. “

Bodies were found floating in French waters, a few miles from the coast, more than 12 hours later, causing a French fisherman send a distress signal.

Zada said he and the other migrants held hands after falling into the water “so as not to sink or drown”.

But when the sun started to rise, “the people couldn’t take it anymore”.

“They all gave up their lives,” he said.

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Vigil organized for the deaths of La Manche

Mr. Zada ​​was treated for hypothermia in France. He explained that the “only reason” he was trying to reach Britain was to earn money to pay for his sister’s medical care in India.

When the boat began to flood, passengers struggled to hail a ship they had spotted in the English Channel, but decided against doing so as they wanted to reach Britain.

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2:32

New arrivals from Calais reflect on dangers

Zada identified the Rzgar family, from an autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, as being on the boat with him to reporters.

Kazhal Rzgar, 46, his daughters Hadya, 22, and Hasta, seven, and sons Twana, 19, and Mubin, 16, are all reported to have drowned.

Just a week before the tragedy, they gave a media interview in which they talked about their dream of starting a new life in Britain.

Baran Nouri Mohammedameen only told her fiance she was about to board a boat for the crossing at the last minute
Image:
Baran Nouri Mohammedameen only told her fiance she was about to board a boat for the crossing at the last minute

Publicly identified dead include pregnant woman, children and 24-year-old Kurdish woman from northern Iraq try to find her fiancé.

France is conducting a criminal investigation into the sinking.

The nation has pledged to double the 123 officials currently tasked with combating smugglers after the tragedy.

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