A 24-year-old Kurdish woman from northern Iraq has become the first victim of this week’s mass drowning in the Channel to be identified. Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin was one of 27 people who died while attempting to cross to Britain on Wednesday. Her fiancé, who lives in the UK, told the BBC she was messaging him as the group’s dinghy started deflating. She tried to reassure him that they would be rescued.
But help came too late, and she and 17 men, six other women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children died after their inflatable boat sank into the sea off the northern French coast. There were only two survivors – an Iraqi and a Somali. The disaster marked the biggest loss of life by drowning in the Channel in many years. Her fiancé said Maryam, nicknamed Baran, had been on the boat with a female relative.