The body of a man was recovered from the sea in the English Channel by the coastguard, police say, after being reported by a passing ship – it comes amid a rise in migrant crossings
Image: Getty Images)
The body of a man has been found by coastguards in the English Channel, police said.
Sussex Police said the man, who has not yet been identified, was airlifted out of the water and taken to Eastbourne.
His body was intercepted after being flagged down by a passing vehicle.
The gendarmes opened an investigation into the circumstances of the death.
It comes amid a rise in the number of migrants crossing the English Channel as the weather improved over the weekend.
According to the Interior Ministry, a total of 785 people had to be rescued or intercepted on Monday, while French authorities prevented 378 people from crossing.
British authorities rescued or intercepted 456 people on Tuesday and 301 on Wednesday.
Monday’s arrivals brought the total number of people crossing the UK on small boats this year to more than 12,500, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.
Sailings in 2021 have already eclipsed last year’s annual total of 8,417 and that tally continues to rise on sunny days.
The increase in the number of crossings has led Home Secretary Priti Patel to announce hardline plans to send ships back to France.
The Home Secretary has authorized Border Forces to ‘push back’ ships carrying desperate people across the Channel, it is understood.
AFP via Getty Images)
It is believed the extreme tactics will only be used in limited circumstances – but they have enraged human rights groups and the French government.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin tweeted: “France will not accept any practice contrary to maritime law, and will not accept any financial blackmail”.
Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: ‘Turns around at sea in the world’s busiest shipping channel is dangerous and life-threatening.
“The Home Secretary has failed to tackle the despicable criminal gangs who profit from human trafficking and that should be her goal, along with reaching an effective agreement with France and safe and legal avenues .
“The fact that she is even considering these dangerous proposals shows how much she has lost control of this situation.”
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A Whitehall source insisted people were already dying making the dangerous crossing, and the purpose of the pushback is to deter those people from taking dinghies in the first place.
While an official spokesperson for Boris Johnson insisted: ‘We are confident that any approach we take will meet the requirements of the law.
Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said earlier this week:
“This unacceptable increase in dangerous level crossings is caused by criminal gangs and an increase in illegal migration across Europe.
“We are determined to target criminals at all levels, so far we have secured nearly 300 arrests, 65 convictions and prevented over 10,000 attempted migrants.
“But there is more to do. The government’s new immigration plan is the only credible way to fix the broken asylum system, break the criminal gang business model and get people in through safe and legal channels.