After sinking of a boat off French coast, 31 migrants have been killed and several others have been reported missing

Darmanin, speaking outside Calais’ hospital, said that five women and one little girl were among those who died. Darmanin said two people were saved while another person remains missing.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his horror and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent their condolences and sympathies to the families.

Macron stated that France would not permit the English Channel to be a graveyard. He also urged European counterparts for greater efforts to avoid any future disasters.

In a statement, the President stated that he wanted to show his compassion and unconditional support to the victims’ families.

He added, “I assure them that all will be done for them to find and punish those responsible, networks and smugglers who exploit suffering and distress, endanger lives, and ultimately decimate families.”

Macron stated that France has been working for several months with the UK to eliminate smuggling networks.

He said that 1,552 smugglers were arrested along the northern coast since the start of 2021 thanks to 600 police officers and Gendarmes and that 44 smuggling network have been destroyed.

“Despite this, 47,000 attempts have been made to cross to Great Britain since January 1, with 7,800 migrants being saved by our rescue agencies.”

France’s regional maritime prefecture had earlier stated that a rescue operation was being conducted in the Strait of Pas-de-Calais in search of survivors. They described it as one of the most serious accidents in the waterway.

Annick Girardin, the country’s maritime minister, said that French and British helicopters were looking for the missing.

Jean Castex, the French Prime Minister, described the incident as “tragedy.” In a tweet, he stated that his thoughts were with the victims of criminal smugglers who exploited their distress and misery.

Crossings are dangerous

Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, stated that he was shocked and appalled by the loss at sea and deeply disturbed.

Johnson said to reporters, “My thoughts, sympathies, and first of all, with the victims and families, and it is an appalling fact that they have endured.”

“But I also want it to be noted that crossing the Channel in this manner is dangerous. It also highlights how important it is to intensify our efforts to end the business model of gangsters sending people to sea in such a way. That’s why we need to accelerate all measures within our borders… so we can distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants.

He said that authorities would not leave any stone unturned in pursuing the business propositions of human traffickers and gangsters, who literally get away with murder.”

Johnson stated that it was time for Europe, France, and the UK to “step up and work together.” According to his spokesperson, Johnson was to preside at a meeting of Cobra’s emergency committee as a response to the tragedy.

Priti Patel, UK Home Secretary stated that the tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by Channel crossings organised criminal gangs.

She said, “We will continue intensifying our cooperation with France and other European Partners to prevent migrants from embarking upon these deadly journeys.”

Monday saw the announcement from France’s Ministry of Interior, that they were sending equipment and vehicles valued at over 11 million Euros ($12.3 Million) in accordance with the United Kingdom. “To secure the coast strip extending more than 130km, Dunkirk to Bay of Somme,”

It also stated that police and gendarmes will be able to use additional resources in order to combat illegal immigration.

As they attempted to cross into the UK, 243 people were saved by the English Channel last week.

According to data compiled this year by Britain’s PA Media news media agency, more then 25,700 people have crossed in small boats the English Channel to the UK. PA reports that this is three times more than the 2020 total.

CNN’s Amy Cassidy and Joseph Ataman contributed to this report.