Dover MP Natalie Elphicke thanks 'brave emergency workers' who rescued migrants in Channel

The emergency services have been praised for their response to the tragedy Credit: ITV Meridian

The MP for Dover has thanked the emergency services involved in the operation to rescue dozens of migrants after their small boat capsized in the English Channel.

Natalie Elphicke has said she is "extremely shocked and extremely saddened" following the tragedy in the Channel.

The RNLI, the Royal Navy, French navy, and Coastguard were all involved in a huge operation off the Kent coast early on Wednesday morning.

It was confirmed hours later that four people had died and 43 people were rescued in the Channel.

Speaking to ITV News, the Conservative MP for Dover, Ms Elphicke said: "This time a number of lives have been lost, and it's been a terrible shock for our community down in Dover and Deal.

"We've got to see an end to this crisis.

Emergency services at the scene at Dover in Kent on Wednesday morning. Credit: ITV News

"We're seeing lives lost in the Channel and lives being put at risk every day by these people smugglers, she added.

"It's criminal activity, and they are making so much money out of this and they don't care about people's lives being put at risk or lost in this way.

The Tory MP added that she thinks a number of measures have been brought forward, but that the boats need to be stopped in the French water before they reach our beaches.

  • Dover MP Natalie Elphicke says more needs to be done to stop small boats crossing the Channel

She said: "It's incredibly dangerous treacherous conditions - there is a risk to life, and sadly today we have seen that happen.

"I have to say a huge thanks and pay tribute to the work of the emergency services who responded in the early hours of this morning in these wintry and treacherous conditions.

"They did an incredibly brave job rescuing people and it is incredibly difficult for people working in those circumstances."