Home » First Victim Of Channel Tragedy Is Confirmed As A Bride-To-Be, 24, Who Hoped To Join Her Fiance

First Victim Of Channel Tragedy Is Confirmed As A Bride-To-Be, 24, Who Hoped To Join Her Fiance

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Ruthless smugglers threatened to shoot migrants – including a bride-to-be – unless they boarded the overcrowded dinghy that went down in the Channel this week, friends said yesterday.

Up to 50 people were supposed to board two boats ahead of the fatal voyage – but one vessel suffered engine trouble, those stuck in camps in France claimed.

Rather than curtail the trip that would have netted them tens of thousands of pounds, the gun-toting gang corralled the migrants into one boat, it was said.

The chilling details emerged as more were named among those feared drowned in Wednesday’s tragedy off the coast of Calais.

The first confirmed dead was 24-year-old student Mariam Nouri Dargalayi, who was recently engaged and was trying to reach her fiance in Britain.

It comes as MPs warned that ‘Soft touch’ justice and a failure to prosecute migrants arriving in the UK illegally is encouraging people to risk their lives by trying to cross the Channel in small boats.

The claim came amid fears of more tragic deaths in the water unless France reopens talks with Britain over Boris Johnson’s five-point plan to stop people traffickers.

Smugglers threatened to shoot migrants, including bride-to-be Mariam Nouri Dargalayi (pictured with fiance), unless they boarded the doomed dinghy that went down in Channel

Known to her family as Baran, she travelled from northern Iraq via Germany to the French coast.

Fiance Karzan Asad, who is said to have British citizenship and is now working as a barber in Bournemouth, said: ‘I am in a very bad state. It is very sad for me, and for everyone.

‘I had continuous contact with my wife and I was tracking her live with GPS. After four hours and 18 minutes, from the moment she went into that boat, I think they were in the middle of the sea, then I lost her.

‘She was a happy person. Someone went to see her body in France, so I know it’s her.’

Last night a cousin in Iraq, Krmanj Ezzat, said: ‘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.

‘I understand why so many people are leaving for a better life, but this is not the correct path. It’s the route of death. Please don’t take this route, it’s not worth it.

‘Baran chose a very difficult way to come to Britain and you see what happened to her. Karzan was waiting for her in England. She was learning English, she was very smart.’

Mr Ezzat fears four more family members were also on the boat.

Shakar Ali, 25, (left) and Harem Pirot, 23, (right) who grew up as neighbours in Iraq and set off together to find a new life in the UK are believed to have been on board the dinghy

Yesterday, the family of Deniz Ahmed Mohammed, a 27-year-old Kurd, said he left them a final voicemail saying: ‘Just pray for us.’

Childhood friends Harem Pirot and Shakar Ali, from the town of Ranya, northern Iraq, were also among the feared victims.

Their friend Sanger Ahmed said: ‘I spoke to them on the phone on the morning they went. They were saying it was only a tiny boat and people smugglers might shoot people if they tried to back out.

‘They suspected the boat was overcrowded with around 50 people on it. I think they could have been forced on the boat.

‘People smugglers are armed and don’t care if the boat is overloaded or if the weather is bad. We have all heard the stories about people being threatened with a gun unless they get on.’

In the squalid camp near Dunkirk, where the doomed migrants waited for a chance to attempt the crossing, numerous sources have made shocking claims to the Daily Mail about what happened on Wednesday lunchtime.

Two boats had been set to leave from the Loon-Plage beach, just outside Dunkirk. Sources described how one of the boats had suffered engine problems, yet the greedy smugglers did not want to miss out on their cash windfall.

‘The smugglers told the migrants that the remaining boat was completely new and so it would be strong enough to carry all of them,’ said one source inside the camp.

Another migrant said: ‘It is all about money for them. There are too many people who have too much to lose.’

The overcrowded dinghy, around 30ft long, was so flimsy it was likened to a children’s paddling pool, and appears to have simply crumpled after either taking on water or colliding with a ship.

The Mail told yesterday how migrant Mohammed Aziz, 31, made a frantic phone call to his friend Peshraw Aziz and said: ‘It’s not good, the engine isn’t powerful enough – I don’t know if we’re going to make it.’

Multiple sources in the camp have claimed the boat could have had as many as 50 people on board, and the French authorities are braced for the death toll – currently at 27 – to rise.

Friend of Shakar and Harem Sanger Ahmed also told of his fears for two other Iraqi Kurds – Hassan, in his late twenties, and Twana Muhammad (pictured), 18, a student

The family of 27-year-old Deniz Ahmed Mohammed (left) said he left them a final voicemail saying ‘just pray for us’, while Riaz Mohammed, 12, (right) is also feared to be among dead

Speaking of his friends, Sanger said he has known Harem, thought to be 23, and Shakar, a 27-year-old geology graduate, all his life and they were all neighbours in Ranya, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Sanger said he travelled with Harem and Shakar to Turkey.

His friends made their way to France via Italy while he decided to come via Belarus, and the trio arranged to meet up in France.

Sanger also told of his fears for two other Iraqi Kurds – Hassan, in his late twenties, and Twana Muhammad, 18, a student.

He also believes an Iranian called Sirwan, aged around 25, and a man called Hever, in his 20s and from Ranya, may have died.

The youngest victim is feared to be Riaz Mohammed, 12, who was pictured wearing a life jacket.

Sanger added: ‘I’m not sure if I will get a boat now – if there’s a chance on a lorry I might not take that risk.’

Migrants in the camp told the Mail police controls are so lax that traffickers brazenly launch their human cargo in broad daylight in full view of security officers.

Karl Maquinghen, a French skipper who has been at sea for 21 years, sounded the alarm on Wednesday afternoon when he found bodies floating in the water.

‘Seeing so many dead people right next to us, it was like a horror film,’ he said yesterday.

‘You can’t sleep – as soon as you close your eyes, you see bodies again.

‘We were petrified to even pull up the nets for fear there was one inside. If we had arrived five minutes earlier, we might have been able to save them.’

A relative of Deniz said his family in Ranya feared the worst.

‘He was suffering poverty then spent everything he collected to go to the UK, and this is what happened,’ nephew Darya said.

‘My grandfather hasn’t even eaten until now. It is like a funeral for them.’

A final voicemail from Deniz said: ‘Now we are on the water, Inshalla [God willing] we will arrive safely. Just pray for us.’

Five people have been arrested in France over the 27 deaths, including one man held overnight driving a German-registered vehicle packed with inflatable ribs, although there is ‘no provable link’ with the sinking, according to prosecutors, despite French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin insisting all were ‘directly linked’ to the drownings.

Police search Wimereux beaches near Bolougne from this morning days after 27 migrants died heading to the UK as Storm Arwen threatens to take more lives if more people try to cross

A man holds a sign that translates as ‘Save our migrant brothers and sisters’ at a memorial for people who have died while crossing the English Channel

A migrant prays at a makeshift migrant camp in Loon Beach – the day after 27 migrants died crossing the Channel – in Dunkerque near Calais

On the same day as the tragedy, a total of 757 migrants crossed the Channel in 17 boats, while French authorities also prevented 176 people from reaching the UK in eight incidents, according to the Home Office.

A further 62 migrants successfully made the dangerous journey in two boats on Thursday and French authorities stopped 30 people from making the crossing in two incidents.

The latest confirmed figures mean 6,869 migrants have arrived in 201 boats so far in November and 26,591 have made the treacherous trip in 2021 – compared to 8,410 in 2020 and just 1,850 in 2019.

It comes as Storm Arwen began to tear through the Channel today raising fears more migrants will die if they try to cross from France to Britain as MPs demanded Emmanuel Macron swamps beaches with police to prevent any boats setting off in the high winds.

The PM’s five-point plan that has infuriated the French

1. Border Force officials to help patrol French beaches and nearby roads. UK could fund private security if French reject this over concerns about sovereignty

2. Allow the UK to return migrants who cross the Channel directly to France and ‘break the business model of criminal gangs’

3. Border Force cutters to help patrol French coastal waters. French Navy could enter UK waters on joint missions

4. UK could fund the deployment of ground sensors and radar in northern France to help detect suspicious activity on remote beaches. PM also offered to ‘deepen’ intelligence-sharing on the operations of smuggling gangs

5. PM also offered to share intelligence from British surveillance flights over the Channel to help French forces intercept smuggling operations more quickly

Gusts of up to 75mph in the Channel and big waves are expected along Britain’s coast as the first named storm of the season brings gales, rain and snow through today and tomorrow.

As the winds picked up through the day, it appears people traffickers put off sending out boats.

Kent MP Craig Mackinlay said that with Storm Arwen set to blast 75mph winds towards France, Macron must ensure that nobody crosses today to avoid more deaths in the Channel. But despite the warning only small groups of police were seen on patrol near Calais.

He told MailOnline: ‘The French should be putting maximum on the ground resources across the 20 miles of high risk beaches north and south of Calais. Bad weather will push the traffickers to use the shortest possible route’.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke said: ‘Conditions on the English Channel look set to become even more treacherous in the coming days.

‘It’s urgent that France works with the UK and EU allies to stop more lives being lost. No-one should be making this kind of journey across a stormy sea. The French authorities should appeal for people to heed the weather forecast and stay where they are.’

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron went into meltdown at Boris Johnson today branding the PM ‘not serious’ for sending a public letter with demands for ending migrant tragedies in the Channel.

Mr Macron could not contain his anger when asked about the developments. ‘I’m surprised when things are not done seriously,’ he seethed. ‘We don’t communicate between leaders via tweets or published letters, we are not whistle-blowers.’

The Prime Minister, 57, announced yesterday that he had called on the French President, 43, to agree to take back migrants who cross the Channel, arguing that the incentive for people to ‘put their lives’ in the hands of people traffickers would be reduced if they knew they would be sent back.

The Elysee Palace had already warned Mr Johnson not to ‘exploit’ the disaster that saw dozens of migrants drown off the French coast earlier this week for political gain, but the premier penned a letter overnight with a five-point plan for cooperation.

His urgent five-point plan included measures such as starting joint patrols with France to stop boats leaving French beaches, deploying sensors and radar technology and using airborne surveillance.

Mr Johnson also argued that France should agree to take back migrants who reach Britain, saying it would have a ‘significant’ impact on the migrant crisis and reduce the dangers posed by people traffickers.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron went into meltdown at Boris Johnson (pictured) branding the PM ‘not serious’ for sending a five-point plan with demands for ending migrant tragedies

Since he published the plan, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told counterpart Priti Patel (pictured) this morning that she is no longer welcome at the crisis meeting on Sunday

Setting out his five-point plan, he tweeted: ‘Tonight I have written to President Macron offering to move further and faster to prevent Channel crossings and avoid a repeat of yesterday’s appalling tragedy which claimed the lives of at least 27 people.

‘I pay tribute to the emergency services who have been dealing with this devastating situation.

‘Following our conversation last night I know President Macron recognises, as I do, the urgency of the situation we are both facing.’

‘If those who reach this country were swiftly returned the incentive for people to put their lives in the hands of traffickers would be significantly reduced.

‘This would be the single biggest step we could take together to reduce the draw to Northern France and break the business model of criminal gangs.

‘I am confident that by taking these steps and building on our existing cooperation we can address illegal migration and prevent more families from experiencing the devastating loss we saw yesterday.’

Since he published the plan, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told counterpart Priti Patel this morning that she is no longer welcome at the crisis meeting on Sunday.

A spokesman for Mr Darmanin, who yesterday accused Britain of ‘bad immigration management’ and enticing migrants with benefits and slack labour rules, said: ‘We consider Boris Johnson’s public letter unacceptable and in opposition with discussions between counterparts.

‘As a consequence, Priti Patel is not invited anymore to the meeting on Sunday.’

Former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who is running for the French presidency in looming elections, also waded into the spat accusing Mr Johnson of being ‘in a state of mind of confrontation on all subjects’.

The summit with other European interior ministers will go ahead without the Home Secretary, whose aides had already travelled to Paris by Eurostar last night.

The decision sparked fury from British MPs. Tory backbencher Jacob Young tweeted: ‘Ridiculous behaviour from the French government seeming to forget that two days ago 27 people died crossing the Channel. Stop the boats – as simple as that.’

Fellow Conservative Nicola Richards said: ‘It’s truly childish behaviour being shown by France, becoming more and more evident they don’t want to stop these boats leaving France. 27 people died a matter of days ago, but they would rather to be petty than help find a solution.’

Wednesday’s tragedy deepened animosity between Britain and France, already at odds over post-Brexit trade rules and fishing rights. Mr Johnson said France was at fault and Mr Darmanin accused Britain of ‘bad immigration management’.

UK’s ‘soft touch’ justice encourages illegal migrants to sail over Channel on deadly dinghies, MPs warn, as Britain tells France MORE will die if it doesn’t reopen talks on smashing people smuggling gangs

By Tom Pyman For Mailonline

‘Soft touch’ justice and a failure to prosecute migrants arriving in the UK illegally is encouraging people to risk their lives by trying to cross the Channel in small boats, MPs have warned.

The claim came amid fears of more tragic deaths in the water unless France reopens talks with Britain over Boris Johnson’s five-point plan to stop people traffickers.

Crown Prosecution Service figures show only 61 migrants have been charged and 51 convicted since December 2019 for illegally entering the country and breaching the 1971 Immigration Act, according to the Telegraph.

Comparatively, some 46,000 people have broken the law by arriving in the UK over the same period, with around two-thirds of that being migrants travelling in small boats across the Channel or being smuggled into lorries.

Representing just one conviction in every 1,000 cases, MPs have slammed the ‘hands off’ approach from the CPS, which announced recently that asylum seekers entering illegally would not be prosecuted unless they were involved in other criminal activity.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke told the Telegraph: ‘Make no mistake, if you are paying criminal gangs to smuggle you into Britain in a small boat you know you are breaking the law. It’s clear we need tougher laws and firmer action to prosecute illegal entrants and stop these Channel crossings.’

Tim Loughton, a member of the home affairs committee and a former minister, added: ‘What should be happening is that they are arrested, put in a detention centre where they can claim asylum, then get deported. That’s the logical thing to do but it’s not happening. We’re substituting hotels for prisons.’

A group of people on a dinghy on the Channel earlier this week, before the tragic drowning of at least 27 migrants

The flimsy and dangerous dinghy that sank off Calais on Wednesday, killing 27 people including seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children

Meanwhile, the war of words between the two countries was ramped up after Emmanuel Macron branded the PM ‘not serious’ for sending a public letter with demands for ending the tragedies.

But a senior government source told the Times that the French must return to the negotiating table immediately if further loss of life is to be avoided.

They said: ‘Our plan is the plan. It will be a test of their determination to prevent further loss of life. We need to fix this. We can’t have kids dying in the Channel every week.’

It comes as the first picture of one of the victims of Wednesday’s tragedy in the Channel – a 21-year-old Kurdish student who lost contact with her husband in the middle of the sea – has emerged.

Baran Nouri Hamadami, from northern Iraq, was among the 27 who drowned in the disaster off the coast of Calais earlier this week, the Telegraph reports.

Her husband had previously told how he tried to track her journey from France to the UK before the signal suddenly dropped in the middle of the sea.

He’d said earlier: ‘She is not in the UK, which means that she is gone. It is very sad for me, and for everyone.’

‘I had continuous contact with my wife and I was tracking her live GPS. After four hours and 18 minutes from the moment she went into that boat, I think they were in the middle of the sea, then I lost her.’

Investigators from the both sides of the Channel are now understood to be piecing together the movements of Mrs Nouri – also known as Maryam – in the days before the tragedy.

Elsewhere, a friend of two migrants feared to be among those who drowned in Wednesday’s Channel tragedy told MailOnline today that one of them phoned him just before setting off to say that they had been forced on to the ‘flimsy, overcrowded’ dinghy by armed people traffickers.

Best friends Shakar Ali, 25, and Harem Pirot, 23, who grew up as neighbours in Iraq and set off together to find a new life in the UK are believed to have been on board the dinghy that sank off Calais.

Their friend Sanger Ahmed, 33, said they phoned him just before setting off from France on Wednesday morning and they sounded terrified, telling him too many people were on the boat.

Baran Nouri Hamadami, from northern Iraq, and pictured with her husband, was among the 27 who drowned in the disaster off the coast of Calais earlier this week

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline in the Grand-Synthe camp in Calais, Sanger said: ‘I last spoke to them early in the morning two days ago. They called me because they were just about to get on a boat.

‘They were worried that it was overloaded and dangerous. They thought there was too many people for such a tiny boat.

‘It may have been that they were forced to get on board. I have heard stories about smugglers with guns making people get on board if they try and back out at the last minute. They are brutal people’. He added: ‘I have not seen them since and they have not responded to messages. I have been texting them and sending messages on Facebook – but there is no answer. People say they may have died.

27 people died – including three children – died on Wednesday when their ‘flimsy’ dinghy deflated in seas nowhere near as rough as predicted over the coming 48 hours due to Storm Arwen. There are fears migrants could be forced to cross anyway amid reports one man was shot in the knee when he refused to cross after the deathtrap rib went down. Other migrants also claimed to have been forced on to boats at gunpoint.

Riaz Mohammed, 12, his relative Share Mohammed, 17, and two other teenagers, Palowan, 16, and Shinai, 15, were among those attempting the perilous crossing that day. Friends who were unable to contact them yesterday said they were worried they were among the dead.

An Iraqi Kurd called Karwan, 42, who once lived in the UK for seven years working in a Bury St Edmunds Pizza Express, said his friend Karim, 31, who shared a tent with him at the camp was also missing.

Karwan said: ‘He was the best guy and a good friend. He invited me to sleep in his tent with him when I had nowhere to go. He wanted to get to the UK. I think he tried two or three times, but there were problems with boats and he came back. Now this time he has not come back.’

It came as Storm Arwen began to tear through the Channel today raising fears more migrants will die if they try to cross from France to Britain as MPs demanded Emmanuel Macron swamps beaches with police to prevent any boats setting off in the high winds.

Gusts of up to 75mph in the Channel and big waves are expected along Britain’s coast as the first named storm of the season brings gales, rain and snow through today and tomorrow. As the winds picked up through the day, it appears people traffickers put off sending out boats.

Best friends Shakar Ali, 25, (left) and Harem Pirot, 23, 9right) who grew up as neighbours in Iraq and set off together to find a new life in the UK are believed to have been on board the dinghy that sank on Wednesday, killing 27 migrants on board.

Haram Almas (pictured) is feared to have died in the English Channel during the tragedy earlier this week

Riaz Mohammed, 12, his relative Share Mohammed, 17, pictured centre left and right, wearing life jackets on the beach prior to the crossing which resulted in the deaths of 27 people. Their three other friends are also missing feared dead

According to Afghans still waiting to cross the Channel, pictured here are two of their countrymen feared drowned – Palowan, 16 (L) and Shinai, 15 (R)

Karwan, he used to work in Pizza express in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, but went back to Iraq h now is trying to get back to the UK

Karwan said he had lived for seven years in Cambridge and worked as a chef at Pizza Express in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, before returning to Iraq in 2006 following the fall of Saddam Hussein.

He added: ‘I had a nice life in Cambridge, but I wanted to go back to my own country. I thought it would be a good place to live after Saddam went.

Sangar Kosari, who fears his friends drowned in the Channel, after they failed to respond to his messages

‘But my country turned out to be so stupid. Every night they shoot someone. There is no nice life. Now I want to go back to England.’

Sanger Ahmed, 23, who also comes from the town of Ranya in Kurdistan, said he had no way of knowing for sure if his friends were on the boat which sank or another which made the crossing.

‘They tried to get on a boat many times before because they wanted to get to England. They were in this camp and now they have gone. It looks like they were on the boat, but I am not sure. What has happened is just terrible. They just wanted a better life.’

Sanger said he had arranged to meet the pair in Istanbul, Turkey, after they separately left their home town.

He added: ‘They moved to Italy by boat and I came through Belarus. Then we met up again here. They had been here about a month. I have known them all my life because they were neighbours.’

Sanger named three other victims of the disaster as Iraqi Kurds called Twana, 20, and Hassan, 25, and an Iranian Kurd called Sirwan, 25, who had all been staying at the Gran-Synthe camp.

Others at the camp named another victim as an Iraqi Kurd called Hever who was aged in his 20s and was also desperate to get to the UK.

An Iranian Kurd called Mohammed Pirot, 19, said he also feared that his Iranian friend Zanyar, 20, was on the doomed boat.

Iraqi woman’s husband tells how migrants’ inflatable disappeared from GPS as he watched

The husband of an Iraqi woman feared to be among the 27 people who died in the English Channel has told how the migrants’ inflatable disappeared from GPS as he watched.

Maryam Nuri, from Ranya in the north of the country, is thought to be one of the victims of the capsized flimsy boat which sank off the coast of Calais on Wednesday amid harsh seas and cold temperatures.

Her husband, who did not want to be named, was among those anxiously waiting for news on their loved ones after lifeboatmen dragged the bodies of 17 men, seven women and three children from the water.

A Kurdish immigrant living in Britain, he told the Telegraph how he tried to track his wife’s journey from France to the UK, before her signal suddenly dropped.

‘She is not in the UK, which means that she is gone. It is very sad for me, and for everyone,’ he said.

‘I had continuous contact with my wife and I was tracking her live GPS. After four hours and 18 minutes from the moment she went into that boat, I think they were in the middle of the sea, then I lost her.’

Speaking from the Grand-Synthe camp, he said: ‘I last saw him on Tuesday morning and he said he was going on a boat. I have sent him text messages and he has not answered.

‘I am very worried for him, but I can do nothing. I am sad for him.’

Another Iraqi Kurd at the camp said: ‘I have heard of an 18-year-old boy here who is worried that he lost his father and brother on the boat.

‘He has travelled today to Lille where the bodies are being kept because he wants to try and identify them.

‘He has been going around asking everybody if they have seen his family.’

Maryan Nuri, from Ranya in northern Iraq, told her husband she was travelling in a boat with around 30 other people.

Her husband, a Kurdish immigrant living in the UK who did not want to be named, spoke of how he had been tracking his wife’s journey to join him before her signal suddenly disappeared in the middle of the sea.

‘She is not in the UK, which means that she is gone. It is very sad for me, and for everyone,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.

‘I had continuous contact with my wife and I was tracking her on live GPS. After four hours and 18 minutes from the moment she went into that boat, I think they were in the middle of the sea, then I lost her. I am in a very bad state.’

Mohammad Aziz, 31, has not been heard of since his frantic call in the Channel to a fellow Iraqi Kurd, Peshraw Aziz. He told the Daily Mail last night from his camp in Calais: ‘He was panicking the boat might sink.’

Five of the people who died in Wednesday’s tragedy are feared to be young men from Afghanistan, who have failed to text their friends back in Calais and Dunkirk. Amid growing fears about the safety of winter crossings, it was claimed that a scared migrant was ‘kneecapped’ after he refused to board a boat hours after the dinghy went down.

Kent MP Craig Mackinlay said that with Storm Arwen set to blast 75mph winds towards France, Macron must ensure that nobody crosses today to avoid more deaths in the Channel. But despite the warning only small groups of police were seen on patrol near Calais.

He told MailOnline: ‘The French should be putting maximum on the ground resources across the 20 miles of high risk beaches north and south of Calais. Bad weather will push the traffickers to use the shortest possible route’.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke said: ‘Conditions on the English Channel look set to become even more treacherous in the coming days. It’s urgent that France works with the UK and EU allies to stop more lives being lost. No-one should be making this kind of journey across a stormy sea. The French authorities should appeal for people to heed the weather forecast and stay where they are.’

Police search the dunes at Wimereux beaches near Bolougne from early this morning days after 27 migrants died heading to the UK as Storm Arwen threatens to take more lives if more people try to cross

Small police patrols on the beach at Wimereux as MPs demanded larger patrols to snuff out any chance of crossings

Migrants stand over a wood fire at a makeshift migrant camp in Loon Beach, after 27 fellow migrants died when their dinghy deflated as they attempted to cross the English Channel

Groups of people desperate to get to the UK, including children, say they are willing to take the risk of crossing by boat

Macron meltdown as he brands Boris ‘not serious’ about migrant crisis

Emmanuel Macron went into meltdown at Boris Johnson today branding the PM ‘not serious’ for sending a public letter with demands for ending migrant tragedies in the Channel.

The French president delivered a furious rant at Mr Johnson during a press conference on a visit to Italy – after Britain was dramatically uninvited to a summit on the crisis in Calais this weekend.

The Elysee Palace had already warned Mr Johnson not to ‘exploit’ the disaster that saw dozens of migrants drown off the French coast earlier this week for political gain, but the premier penned a letter overnight with a five-point plan for cooperation.

And today Mr Macron could not contain his anger when asked about the developments.

‘I’m surprised when things are not done seriously,’ he seethed. ‘We don’t communicate between leaders via tweets or published letters, we are not whistle-blowers.’

A French government spokesman said the proposals from Mr Johnson ‘don’t correspond at all’ with discussions the leaders had on Wednesday. ‘We are sick of double-speak,’ he added.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told counterpart Priti Patel this morning that she is no longer welcome at the crisis meeting on Sunday, after UK condemnation of lax patrolling at French beaches where migrants are launching boats in a desperate bid to reach Britain.

The move – branded ‘le grand snub’ – sparked a backlash in the UK with Mr Macron and his ministers accused of ‘forgetting 27 people died two days ago’.

A spokesman for Mr Darmanin, who yesterday accused Britain of ‘bad immigration management’ and enticing migrants with benefits and slack labour rules, said: ‘We consider Boris Johnson’s public letter unacceptable and in opposition with discussions between counterparts.

‘As a consequence, Priti Patel is not invited anymore to the meeting on Sunday.’ The summit with other European interior ministers will go ahead without the Home Secretary, whose aides had already travelled to Paris by Eurostar last night.

The decision sparked fury from British MPs. Tory backbencher Jacob Young tweeted: ‘Ridiculous behaviour from the French government seeming to forget that two days ago 27 people died crossing the Channel. Stop the boats – as simple as that.’

Fellow Conservative Nicola Richards said: ‘It’s truly childish behaviour being shown by France, becoming more and more evident they don’t want to stop these boats leaving France. 27 people died a matter of days ago, but they would rather to be petty than help find a solution.’

It came as Emmanuel Macron went into meltdown at Boris Johnson today branding the PM ‘not serious’ for sending a public letter with demands for ending migrant tragedies in the Channel.

And French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told counterpart Priti Patel this morning that she is no longer welcome at the crisis meeting on Sunday, after UK condemnation of lax patrolling at French beaches where migrants are launching boats in a desperate bid to reach Britain.

The high winds brought to the UK by Storm Arwen are initially due to be in Scotland, but the northerly flow of weather will spread southwards across the Channel later.

Forecasters warn the storm could lead to travel disruption along with damage to buildings and power supplies. Large waves could also see material thrown on to coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.

MailOnline revealed yesterday that the gangs cramming people on to deathtrap dinghies are slashing to price by 500 euros per person to keep people crammed in.

Mohammad Aziz, 31, has not been heard of since his frantic call to a fellow Iraqi Kurd, Peshraw Aziz. He told the Daily Mail last night from his camp in Calais: ‘He was panicking the boat might sink.’

The two survivors of the tragedy were named on social media last night as Mohammed Khalid, from Kurdistan, and Omer, from Somalia.

The devastated husband of an Iraqi-Kurdish woman feared to be among the 27 migrants who drowned told of how her GPS signal abruptly disappeared as he was tracking her journey.

One friend showed a TikTok video filmed on Monday of Riaz and Share, from Jalalabad, wearing life jackets on the beach as they prepared for an earlier attempted voyage to England.

A pregnant woman was among the 27 who perished. Officials said the dead included 17 men, seven women, two boys and one girl.

Yesterday a lifeboat volunteer who helped pull six bodies from the sea on Wednesday likened the horrific scene to a disaster movie.

Charles Devos, who was one of the first to arrive, said: ‘It was a bit like the film Titanic when you saw all these people plunged into the water, drowning, with no means of being able to be rescued.

‘Unfortunately, we were only able to recover the dead people.’

He added: ‘I saw the blow-up boat had really deflated. Was it a valve that came loose or did it hit an object? I think it happened due to overloading.

‘Don’t forget, you think the sea is calm – the sea isn’t calm because it’s nearly always choppy.’

Mr Devos said: ‘We passed next to an inflatable boat that was completely deflated. What little air remained was keeping it afloat.

‘I don’t know if there were children, but we picked up [the body of] a pregnant woman and a young man who was around 18 or 20.’

The French coastguard released a harrowing recording of the Mayday call made after the dinghy was spotted floating empty seven miles off the coast of Calais.

A shocking photograph of the flimsy inflatable craft – described as barely more seaworthy than a child’s paddling pool – was taken by rescuers.

Migrants in a Camp in the area of Grand-Synthe near Dunkirk, France, where conditions are appalling

Freezing and windy conditions in France today amid fears more deaths are inevitable because of poor weather and winter storms

People smugglers and how they are prosecuted in France

By Peter Allen in Paris for MailOnline

French police are still hunting the people traffickers behind Wednesday’s tragedy – but on the country’s track record there is little hope of them ever being caught.

Five alleged smugglers were arrested at the Belgium border shortly after the dinghy capsized in the Channel, killing 27 migrants on board.

But on Thursday Lille prosecutors said that there is no ‘provable link’ between the suspects and this latest disaster.

France has a woeful record of catching the smuggling gangs with blood on their hands cashing in on the tide of human misery – and even when they do the perpetrators are given risible sentences. No trafficker has ever been convicted of murder or manslaughter.

‘The enquiry into these alleged smugglers was originally led by Dunkirk prosecutors, but it was transferred to Lille,’ said an investigating source.

‘Early enquiries do not connect to the Calais tragedy,’ the source added, without expanding further.

This is despite French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin earlier revealing that at least one of the suspects had bought small inflatable boats from Germany and that all were ‘directly linked’ to the drownings.

He pointed to highly organised ‘mafia organisations’ who often operate out of neighbouring countries such as Britain, Belgium and Germany.

Since January 1, the French have arrested 1500 suspected people smugglers, but many are acquitted, or else receive relatively minor sentences.

Investigations into people smugglers are usually carried out by OCRIES, the branch of the French police that deals with the illegal migration.

They work with other police organisations around the world to try and identify and then smash the smuggling networks.

A typical people smuggling case in July ended up with Faramez Shero, 38, being handed a sentence of just one year in prison, subject to appeal.

The Syrian was intercepted with a six-man boat and 39 lifejackets on a French beach notorious as a launch site for migrants.

He was one of hundreds of criminals who have made their way to the Calais area this year to cash in on the illegal trade in human cargo.

Many of the alleged smugglers are migrants themselves who are making thousands out of the trade.

Shero was arrested on July 9 when gendarmes on the Oye beach, between Calais and Dunkirk, found him with an inflatable boat and a dozen lifejackets.

The boat attached to Shero’s Germany-registered car was designed for six people, but had 39 lifejackets inside it.

An examination of Shero’s phone also revealed that he had been making regular short trips to France from Germany, where he lived with his pregnant wife and three children.

‘He said he was in France for the sightseeing,’ said the police source. ‘Asked why he needed a boat, he said he had been asked by a friend to transport some equipment to fishermen in France.’

The equivalent of some £500 in cash was found on Shero, who said: ‘I withdrew some cash before leaving Germany because I did not want to use my cash card in a foreign country.’

Police remained unconvinced, so he was sent for a fast-track trial at the Saint-Omer Criminal Court, where he was convicted of ‘assisting in people smuggling’.

Shero told the court: ‘I would not assist in people smuggling for money because there are people who died at sea.’

Beyond the year in prison, Shero was banned from French territory for up to a year.

The only two survivors of the horror – an Iraqi and a Somalian – have reportedly told French police the dinghy was hit by a container ship that punctured its thin rubber hull and sank the vessel.

They were last night in intensive care in hospital suffering from hypothermia.

Last night, Mr Aziz told the Mail of his final conversation with his friend Mohammad an hour before the sinking.

The pair, both from the northern Iraqi town of Ranya, had met in a camp near Dunkirk as they waited to cross the Channel. They had both come into Europe via Belarus.

Mr Aziz, 30, said: ‘Mohammad decided to try his luck. But he phoned me in a panic and confessed that he wondered if he had made the right decision.

‘He told me that ‘it’s not good’, he thought the engine was not powerful enough, and was worried that the boat might sink, ‘I don’t know if we’re going to make it’. That was the last time I heard from him.’

French authorities have not released the names of the victims and there is no confirmation of whether Mohammad Aziz is among the dead.

Officials were briefing yesterday that the boat had been carrying Kurds from northern Iraq along with migrants from Afghanistan and Iran. They had lived in camps, slept at Calais railway station and – the night before the crossing attempt – had hidden themselves near a canal.

At a grim, rubbish-strewn camp near Dunkirk, fellow Afghans told the Mail of their fears for their missing friends. Referring to Riaz and Share Mohammed, one said: ‘They tried to get across three days ago, then they tried again yesterday (Wednesday) – and we haven’t heard from them since.’

They said the missing youngsters had been in a party of up to 100 which set off in three inflatables. Again, there was no official confirmation as to whether their friends are among the victims, made it safely to the UK or were detained by the French.

One migrant in the camp, Hassan, 30, from Kabul, was refused asylum in Britain in July 2012 but is now trying to return. He said: ‘My friends Palowan and Shinai were on the same boat. They left me two messages the other day, one in the morning and one in the night, asking me to join them.’

He revealed Afghans described attempts to cross borders illegally as ‘The Game’, and said: ‘Shinai kept calling me saying, ‘Come on The Game’. I didn’t go.

‘I haven’t heard any more – and I think they’ve died. But I’m going to keep trying anyway. They had tried to cross many times. England is so close.’

Sources told the Mail how a female doctor was reduced to tears when confronted with the corpses laid out in a hangar at the Quai Paul depot in Calais.

None of the victims were said to be carrying passports or other documents – a tactic often used as it makes it harder to return migrants to their countries of origin.

Anna Richel, from French charity Utopia 56, which works closely with migrants in Dunkirk and Calais, said: ‘The migrants never cross the Channel with ID cards so it could take weeks to officially identify those who died.’

Migrants in Calais have told MailOnline that they are more determined than ever to reach the UK despite 27 people drowning crossing the Channel yesterday – as people traffickers slashed their prices to fill their deathtrap dinghies to Britain.

People claiming to be from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan say that the chance of settling in the UK is worth facing the danger of dying getting to Dover with one declaring: ‘We don’t have a life. We want to live like you in the UK’.

Those still willing to risk their lives in rough November seas revealed that their budget boats had also burst off the coast, but they were rescued from French waters before anyone drowned. Yesterday’s tragedy has seen smugglers slash 500 euros off the price of a one-way trip to Kent.

It came as the first picture of the doomed dinghy that deflated just off the coast of France emerged as French police again failed to stop 50 migrants crossing the Channel to Britain yesterday. 17 men, seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children died yesterday.

Five people have been arrested in France over the 27 deaths, including one man held overnight driving a German-registered vehicle packed with inflatable ribs, although there is ‘no provable link’ with the sinking, according to prosecutors, despite French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin insisting all were ‘directly linked’ to the drownings.

Thousands of migrants are in the Calais region hoping to get to the UK by Christmas, and speaking in France, a Kurdish computer programmer called Kochar, 25, told MailOnline: ‘It is not going to stop people from wanting to come to England. Everything in life is a risk, and it is worth a big risk to get to England’.