Kurdish 24-year-old woman first confirmed victim of Channel crossing
The first victim of Wednesday's Channel crossing which left 27 people dead, including children and a heavily pregnant woman, has been named as Mariam Nouri Hamadameen.
The 24-year-old - also known as Baran - was from northern Iraq where her death was reported in Kurdish media.
Her husband told The Daily Telegraph that he was following Mariam's movements using GPS, as she made the perilous crossing in a bid to join him in the UK.
Almost four hours and 20 minutes into her boat journey the GPS signal suddenly cut off, her husband said, and this is believed to be when the boat capsized. “I am in a very bad state,” he said.
The newspaper reported Ms Nouri's husband did not wished to be named. It reported that he is a Kurdish immigrant living in the UK. He said he had spoken to his wife on the phone before her signal disappeared, and she had told him that there were some 30 people crowded onto her dinghy. They included other Kurdish women, one of whom was a girl aged about nine, and Afghan nationals, he said. When he heard that a vessel had capsized in the sea off France, the man called the people traffickers who had organised the crossing but they told him they could not reach any of the people on board.
Rachel Younger reports on the Channel crossing tragedy, where 27 people lost their lives
Ms Nouri's cousin, Krmanj Ezzat, told Sky News: “Her mother and father are totally devastated. “The situation is just awful. She was a woman in the prime of her life. “It’s a total tragedy and the whole family are in shock.” Seventeen men, seven women – including one who was heavily pregnant – and three children died in Wednesday's tragedy, authorities have said. A joint search and rescue operation by France and the UK that was launched after a fishing boat spotted people in the sea was called off late on Wednesday. The French authorities have arrested five suspected people traffickers in connection with the incident. The Dover Strait is the busiest shipping lane in the world and many people have perished trying to cross to Britain in inflatable dinghies.