Coastguard pulls man's body from English Channel

11 September 2021, 18:59

The coastguard recovered the body on Saturday
The coastguard recovered the body on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The body of a man has been recovered by the coastguard in the English Channel, Sussex Police have said.

The force 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."

Read more: 'Armoured jet skis to be used by Border Force' to spin back migrant boats

Read more: France and UK clash over ‘dangerous and illegal' plans to block migrant crossings

The news comes as record numbers of migrants attempt to cross the English Channel in small boats.

On Monday alone, over 1,000 journeys were attempted, something Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney called "unacceptable and dangerous".

Relieved migrants kiss the ground after crossing the channel

Priti Patel has reportedly authorised plans for armoured jet skis to spin migrant boats attempting to cross the channel around mid-crossing.

The Home Secretary has reportedly overseen the final stages of a Border Force training programme which sees officers physically rotate boats in the channel.

The manoeuvre requires two jet skis, with one pushing the boat from its bow, and a second nudging the stern, to spin it around.

Under the plans, reported by The Sun, the jet skis would then escort the boat back to French waters under the assumption that migrants with no sailing expertise will not be able to turn it back towards the UK.

Priti Patel 'should be honest' about difficulty of immigration

Former Navy chief Admiral Lord West said the strategy could be dangerous, especially if sea conditions were not calm or if those on board did not cooperate with Border Force officers.

"It's an accident waiting to happen," he said.

"It's not clever and it is problematic."

Read more: 'Extreme, illegal, cowardly': Patel's 'pushback' tactics for migrant boats condemned

Read more: Priti Patel sanctions 'pushback tactics' to send migrant boats back to France

LBC contacted the Home Office requesting confirmation of its plans.

A Home Office Spokesperson said: "We are seeing an unacceptable rise in dangerous and unnecessary small boat crossings, that’s why we continue to explore all options available to bring these numbers down.

"Our primary focus is on preventing people from entering the Channel, tackling the criminal gangs responsible and protecting lives.

"As part of our ongoing operational response, we continue to evaluate and test a range of safe and legal options for stopping small boats.

"All operational procedures used at sea comply and are delivered in accordance with domestic and international law.

"We will fix the broken asylum system through our New Plan for Immigration, break the business model of people smugglers who put lives at risk and welcome people through safe and legal routes and as agreed at G7 we continue to cooperate with our international partners."

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