This Is The Refugee Family Who Drowned On Channel Crossing. Their Baby Is Still Lost At Sea

Sara C Nelson
·2-min read

The family who drowned after the sinking of a refugee boat in the English Channel have been pictured – as a search for their missing 15-month-old baby continues.

The bodies of Kurdish-Iranian Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, have been found and identified, the BBC reports.

Their 15-month-old son, Artin, is believed to be still missing. The family is believed to be from the city of Sardasht in western Iran, close to the border with Iraq.

Rasoul’s brother told the channel he had sold all of his belongings and paid more than £20,000 to smugglers in a bid to secure a better future for his family.

Pictures of the family have been shared publicly by a human rights organisation.

The tragedy is believed to be the single biggest loss of life during the current migrant crisis.

More than a dozen people from the boat have been taken to hospitals in Calais and Dunkirk, according to the Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.

Charities say there is “no excuse for failing to act now” and called on the UK Government to create a legal route for refugees. Refugees charity Care4Calais said it was “utterly devastated”.

Bertrand Ringot, the mayor of Gravelines, south-west of Dunkirk, described the deaths as “tragic”.

He added that as the end of the Brexit transition period approaches, he will call for more security resources in the area around the port.

Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said: “News that a child has died at sea while trying to reach safety in the UK is the horror that we dreaded would come.

“Where is the decency and common humanity of the UK government?

“How can they allow our children to perish in this way? It would be easy to create a legal route for refugees...

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