Body of man found by HM Coastguard in the middle of English Channel

·2-min read
File picture of a group of people thought to be migrants are brought in by Border Force officers (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
File picture of a group of people thought to be migrants are brought in by Border Force officers (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

A man has been found dead floating in the middle of the English Channel in a popular crossing point to the UK for refugees.

Sussex Police said: “On Saturday afternoon, September 11, the body of a man was recovered by HM Coastguard in mid-English Channel, following information from a passing vessel, and was brought to Eastbourne.

“Enquiries are under way and no further information is available at this time.”

It comes after reports emerged that Priti Patel has ordered civil servants to intercept migrants in the Channel using “high-powered, armoured” jet skis.

Plans seen by The Sun claimed that Border Force officers will try to spin ramshackle dinghys holding refugees back towards France using the “personal water craft”.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the Home Secretary – was “rightly exploring every possible avenue” to address the situation, adding: “We have said that that will include looking at turning migrants back, but that will only be done in accordance with international law, and clearly the safety of migrants is absolutely paramount.”

The home secretary’s plan, which came in response to orders from the prime minister to curb the crossings, sparked a diplomatic spat between Paris and London, with her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin expressing anger.

“France will not accept any practice that is contrary to the law of the sea, nor any financial blackmail,” he posted on social media.

In a letter to Ms Patel, the shadow home secretary Mr Thomas-Symonds wrote: “It is appalling that you have even considered and now granted, the approval for ‘push-back’ techniques for small boat crossings.

“These techniques are dangerous, inhumane, unconscionable and extremely reckless: you are putting lives at risk, including those of children.”

Dan O’Mahoney, clandestine Channel threat commander, said efforts so far have prevented more than 10,000 migrant attempts, led to almost 300 arrests and secured 65 convictions.

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