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Deadly shipwreck in English Channel: Five soldiers charged

This is a logical follow-up to the coroner’s inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the ship, which took place on the night of 23-24 November 2021 and in which at least 27 people drowned off the coast of Calais while trying to get to England. Five soldiers from the Regional Operational Center for Surveillance and Rescue (Cross) in Gris-Ness (Pas-de-Calais) were charged with “failure to assist a person in danger” on Thursday, May 25.

A total of nine people have been arrested in recent days as part of a criminal investigation conducted by three magistrates of the Paris Court’s National Organized Crime Jurisdiction.

This indictment echoes the findings of investigators who, according to whose elements the world He said in November 2022 that the behavior of the soldiers responsible for organizing the rescue of ships in distress in the passage to England was likely to qualify as criminal.

No rescue equipment was dispatched

In this case, the records of the communication between the cross and the shipwreck boat revealed that the ship’s passengers called repeatedly. The French emergency services warned them that their canoe was taking on water so that no rescue would be dispatched at any time. “We are in the water. it’s over it’s over Please help us. Help us. (…) we are dying We are in the sea, inside, inside (…) Cold”Passengers in particular were begged by telephone, while the operators of the cross apparently preferred to wait until the boat was in English waters to hand over the baton to their British counterparts.

In particular, the recording of the conversation revealed the comments of the operator, who, when the passenger asked him to intervene, told one of his colleagues: “I’m going to get him the magic phrase, off the bat [GPS] There is no lifeboat. » or: “Ah, you don’t understand, you won’t survive. My feet are in the water, well… I didn’t ask to leave. “often” immigrants “Call and cry for danger when they have nothing”tried to justify another soldier who was interviewed after the sinking.

On the evening of the tragedy, the defendants were on duty. Requested on Thursday, May 25 the worldThe Channel and North Sea Maritime Prefecture declined to comment, but spokeswoman Véronique Magnini said “The Marine Prefect’s confidence remains full of all the lifeguards who work every day”.

Source: Le Monde



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