The occupants of a boat that sank last week in the Channel causing the deaths of at least 27 people may have tried to contact the UK authorities.
The two survivors from the incident last Wednesday claim those onboard made repeated calls to the British and French authorities as their flimsy dinghy began to sink.
The group set off from the French coast near Dunkirk at about 10pm on Tuesday evening. Their dinghy ran into difficulties about three-and-a-half hours later, when its right side began to deflate. The motor then stopped working.
They said that two people on the boat who speak fluent English made at least two calls to the UK, begging to be rescued. According to one of the survivors, the British responded by telling them to get in touch with the French.
HM Coastguard responded when French launched a search and rescue operation, after French fishers spotted bodies floating in the water. This was at 12.58pm on Wednesday – about 11 hours after the survivors claim they first raised the alarm.