The dying toll is unclear, as is the quantity of people that have been touring on the boat. Rescue operations are nonetheless underway.
However, French prosecutors have opened an investigation to determine the reason for the boat sinking, the Regional Rescue and Surveillance Operational Center added.
French Deputy Minister Marlene Schiappa expressed disappointment at the incident and mentioned the French authorities gave full help to the rescue operation.
“We learned with great sadness the sinking of a boat transporting 19 migrants to England. Despite the full involvements of state resources in the rescue operation, the death toll is heavy and still unclear,” Schiappa mentioned on Twitter.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson supplied help to French authorities as they continued to research the incident and vowed to “crack down” on gangs coordinating the journey.
“[We] will do all we can to crack down on the ruthless criminal gangs who prey on vulnerable people by facilitating these dangerous journey,” he mentioned.
The message was additionally echoed by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel who mentioned she was “truly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life,” within the Channel at present.
“This tragic news highlights the dangers that come with crossing the channel and I will do everything I can to stop callous criminals exploiting vulnerable people,” Patel mentioned in a press release.
Rise in crossings
The variety of asylum-seekers arriving to the UK by small boats from throughout the English Channel has risen significantly since April 2020.
Analysis from PA information company discovered that greater than 7,400 individuals have made the perilous crossing to the UK by boat this 12 months.
In August, a person was discovered dead on a seaside in Sangatte, France. He and a buddy had tried to cross the English Channel, one of many world’s busiest transport lanes, in an inflatable dinghy with shovels for paddles.
Sangatte Mayor Guy Allemand instructed CNN in September that extra individuals have been touring on makeshift boats “due to the increased surveillance in ports and tunnels” after Franco-British safety measures have been ramped up final 12 months.
CNN’s Emma Reynolds and Tara John contributed to this report.