“I am very sad for myself and I am sad for everyone,” said the husband of the missing 31-year-old woman
The husband of an Iraqi woman who feared he was among the 27 people who died in the English Channel has described seeing her boat disappear from his GPS while trying to track it.
The man, who did not wish to be identified, said he was in “very poor condition” while waiting for news from his wife, Maryam, a Kurdish woman from Ranya, northern Iraq. She is said to have been on the rubber dinghy that sank near Calais on Wednesday afternoon.
Before losing contact with his wife, Maryam told him on the phone that she had been in the same boat with about 30 other people, including Afghan nationals and other Kurdish women, including a girl around the age of nine.
He fears that his wife was among the 27 killed. He is one of several families waiting to be told whether their loved ones were on board the boat.
Speak with The telegraphthe man said, “She is not in the UK which means she is gone. It is very sad for me and for everyone.
“I was in constant contact with my wife and followed her live GPS.
“After four hours and 18 minutes from the moment she got on the boat, I think you were in the middle of the sea, then I lost her,” he said.
The husband said he named the people smugglers who arranged the trip after learning that a boat sank in the canal, but the men said they were unable to contact anyone on board. “I’m in very bad shape,” he added.
Seventeen men, seven women – one of them pregnant – and three children have been identified as victims of the tragedy.
Details were revealed about victims believed to be on board the inflatable boat, including 31-year-old Mohammad Aziz. The 31-year-old, an Iraqi Kurd, called his friend Peshraw Aziz urgently and said he feared the boat’s energy was not strong enough and he would not make it.
Four Afghan youths were also named. Riaz Mohammed, 12, his relative Share Mohammed, 17, and two other teenagers, Palowan, 16 and Shinai, 15, were among those who attempted the dangerous crossing that day. Email online reported.
The only two survivors of the horror were named on social media last night as Mohammed Khalid from Kurdistan and Omer from Somalia.
They reportedly told French police that the ship, which has been likened to a children’s paddling pool, was hit by a container ship that pierced its thin rubber hull and sank it.
More than 150 people have died crossing the English Channel in the past five years, according to recorded data, but charities warn the real numbers could be far higher.
The number of desperate people who died trying to get to the UK in 2021 represents more than 25 percent of all migrant deaths since records began.
Bridget Chapman of the Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) said the smuggling gangs were “a symptom, not the problem”.
“If we gave people safe and regulated entry routes, we would kill the traffickers’ business overnight,” she added.