Channel tragedy: Manslaughter lawsuit filed in migrant boat case that killed 27 people

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Channel tragedy: Manslaughter lawsuit filed in migrant boat case that killed 27 people.

A MANSLAUGHTER lawsuit has been filed against a British Coast Guard in the migrant boat case that killed 27 people on the English Channel in November.

The lawsuit filed in Paris by Utopia 56 on Friday, December 17, also accuses two French authorities: the maritime prefect of the Channel and North Sea and the Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue of Gris-Nez in the Pas-de-Calais, according to the Daily Mail.

Emmanuel Daoud, the lawyer representing Utopia 56, told The Guardian: “The victims and their families are owed truth and transparency.

“We know that as their boat was sinking, the exiles and refugees sought to contact British and French rescue services, who passed the buck.

“They did not come to the aid of people who were in distress, and from that moment we consider that the question of responsibility – in the criminal sense of the term – has arisen.”

On November 24, a migrant boat capsized while trying to cross the Channel from France to England, a day later, 27 people were confirmed dead due to the tragedy – including five women – one of which was reportedly pregnant – and a seven-year-old girl.

Only two people of the 29 aboard the boat survived in what is believed to be the greatest loss of life from a single Channel crossing.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said of the legal action launched in France: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on the specifics of this legal action.

“On 24 November, Her Majesty’s Coastguard received over 90 alerts from the English Channel area including 999 emergency calls.

“Every call was answered, assessed and acted upon, including the deployment of search and rescue resources where appropriate. We always have and always will respond to anyone in distress, as we did that day.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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