Statement in response to MAIB inflatable migrant boat report

Statement in response to MAIB inflatable migrant boat report

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) statement in response to the MAIB report into the loss of life in the Channel on 24 November 2021.
MCA logo on simple graphic in green and white with 'statement' written

An MCA spokesperson said:

"On 24 November 2021, at least 27 people lost their lives while trying to cross the Channel. Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of all those involved in this tragic incident. 

"HM Coastguard works in the most challenging conditions imaginable to save lives. This tragedy serves to remind us of the scale of the task HM Coastguard faces. 

"Having fully cooperated with the MAIB investigation, we have now received their report.  It is implicit from the report that the investigation is incomplete because the MAIB were not granted access to any information held by French authorities. The MAIB report includes two recommendations addressed to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which it is considering. In its formal response, the MCA will update the MAIB on how it intends to respond to the recommendations. 

"The report highlights that the boats and equipment used in these types of crossings are entirely unsuitable and goes on to say that the organized crime groups who arrange these attempts put the occupants at high risk of coming to harm. 

"The MAIB report also concludes that HM Coastguard tasked HMC Valiant to respond, tasked a rescue helicopter and put out an emergency broadcast to shipping in the area, which was repeated four times. The MAIB report further concludes that the rescue helicopter search was carried out in the appropriate location. 

"MAIB recognises that HM Coastguard is regarded as a world leader in search and rescue (SAR) provision and that the UK Search and Rescue (SAR) systems comply with all international requirements. 

"As there are still ongoing investigations it would be inappropriate to comment further." 



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