The French Maritime Prefecture has published a photo of the boat just after the disaster. It shows mainly men sat on each side of the boat, with one leg inside, and the other touching the water

This photo shows migrants on the boat that capsized in the Channel  punching the air and waving just minutes after the tragedy that left five dead including a girl. 

The massively overcrowded small boat with 112 people on board briefly ran aground off the northern French coast at Wimereux, near Boulogne-sur-Mer.

This caused panic and after people stood up, the boat became unbalanced and flipped over, throwing dozens of people including women and children into the cold water. The girl who died was aged between four and seven.

Following the tragedy, the surviving passengers remained onboard and continued on their journey to Britain, under escort by the French Navy.  In a photo released by the French Maritime Prefecture just after the disaster, some are seen punching the air in triumph and waving at the camera.

It comes as three people were arrested today on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration and entering the UK illegally, with police questioning two men from Sudan aged 19 and 22, and a third 22-year-old suspect from south Sudan. 

The French Maritime Prefecture has published a photo of the boat just after the disaster. Some of those onboard appear to be punching the air in triumph and waving at the camera

The French Maritime Prefecture has published a photo of the boat just after the disaster. Some of those onboard appear to be punching the air in triumph and waving at the camera 

The massively overcrowded small boat with 112 people on board briefly ran aground off the northern French coast at Wimereux, near Boulogne-sur-Mer

The massively overcrowded small boat with 112 people on board briefly ran aground off the northern French coast at Wimereux, near Boulogne-sur-Mer 

Almost 5,000 migrants have made the crossing over the Channel to Britain so far this year

Almost 5,000 migrants have made the crossing over the Channel to Britain so far this year

It is thought the tragedy yesterday happened after a small boat was launched from Wimereux in northern France, between Boulogne and Calais

It is thought the tragedy yesterday happened after a small boat was launched from Wimereux in northern France, between Boulogne and Calais

Craig Turner, deputy director of investigations for the National Crime Agency said today: ‘This tragic incident once again demonstrates the threat to life posed by these crossings and bring into focus why it is so important to target the criminal gangs involved in organising them.

‘We will do all we can with partners in the UK and France to secure evidence, identify those responsible for this event, and bring them to justice.’

A group of young men ‘rushed the boat’ just as it set off, according to claims. 

‘These are the men who could well be responsible for the deaths,’ an investigating source said today.

‘The problem is that they are already in Britain, and undoubtedly claiming asylum’.

A criminal investigation into the deaths has been opened by the Boulogne-sur-Mer prosecutor. 

It came just hours after Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda Bill to deter migrants from making the perilous crossing was passed in Parliament.

Rishi Sunak vowed to let nothing ‘stand in our way’ yesterday as he gears up to send Channel migrants to Rwanda by July after the Government’s deportation plan was finally passed by Parliament.

Last year, there were 67,337 asylum applications to the UK. Of those, 29,437 came from people who arrived in small boats.

The Rwanda scheme’s capacity is 200 people per year. It means if the scheme had been running last year, it would have deported less than 0.7 per cent of small boat migrants.

In terms of the cost of the journey per person, for the first 300 migrants sent to Rwanda, it will cost the Government £1.8million per head, Whitehall’s official spending watchdog said.

Yesterday afternoon, dozens of migrants were brought ashore by Border Force and RNLI ships

Yesterday afternoon, dozens of migrants were brought ashore by Border Force and RNLI ships

Last year, there were 67,337 asylum applications to the UK. Of those, 29,437 came from people who arrived in small boats. The Government claims the Rwanda scheme will act as a deterrent, however it only has the capacity to send 200 people a year to the East African country

Last year, there were 67,337 asylum applications to the UK. Of those, 29,437 came from people who arrived in small boats. The Government claims the Rwanda scheme will act as a deterrent, however it only has the capacity to send 200 people a year to the East African country

Migrants were seen beating back the French police using only wooden sticks and firecrackers

Migrants were seen beating back the French police using only wooden sticks and firecrackers

Once the migrants were in the boat, the officers said there was no more they could do

Once the migrants were in the boat, the officers said there was no more they could do

A helicopter of the Emergency medical services takes off from Wimereux on April 23

A helicopter of the Emergency medical services takes off from Wimereux on April 23

Emergency vehicles were seen beside an ice cream shop on the beach at Wimereux in France yesterday morning

Emergency vehicles were seen beside an ice cream shop on the beach at Wimereux in France yesterday morning

The Prime Minister said the ‘tragic’ incident ‘underscores’ the need for the deterrent effect of the Rwanda plan.

Three men, a woman and a little girl drowned after the dinghy they were on flipped over in the early hours of this morning off the coast of northern France, casting around 112 people into the Channel. 

Footage of the moments before the boat launched showed scores of people running towards the sea as they tried to beat back the French officers on Wimereux beach in northern France early on Tuesday morning.

Once the migrants were in the water, the French police said there was nothing more they could do as they didn’t have a boat.

Moments later, the boat hit a sandbank and caused panic that led to the boat capsizing and five people – including a little girl – drowning.

Rescue boats were also seen off the coast of northern France as emergency services searched for survivors

Rescue boats were also seen off the coast of northern France as emergency services searched for survivors

Emergency workers rushed to the sea in a bid to save migrants who got in trouble while trying to cross the Channel

Emergency workers rushed to the sea in a bid to save migrants who got in trouble while trying to cross the Channel

Only then did French police scramble a boat to save the remaining survivors.

However, when some of the migrants refused to be rescued and restarted the boat’s engine, the French Navy instead escorted them onwards towards Britain, which they reached at around lunchtime on Tuesday. 

Guirec Le Bras, the Boulogne prosecutor, has opened an enquiry into ‘manslaughter, criminal association and the assistance of foreigners in an irregular situation.’

Some alleged smugglers suspected of charging up to £1000-a-head for the voyage to Britain have already been arrested and their nautical equipment confiscated, Mr Le Bras said.

This included boats similar to the one used, which are designed for 20 people maximum.

Mr Le Bras also confirmed that police had fought running battles with police in the lead up to the three men, a woman in her early 30s, and the the girl aged between four and seven drowning.

One of the helicopters was seen flying low over the beach at Wimereux this morning

One of the helicopters was seen flying low over the beach at Wimereux this morning

Another air ambulance was seen landing at the side of the beach in Wimereux

Another air ambulance was seen landing at the side of the beach in Wimereux

A member of the French Gendarmerie talks with a driver of a passing car in Wimereux, near Calais

A member of the French Gendarmerie talks with a driver of a passing car in Wimereux, near Calais

The regional governor of the Calais region, Prefet Jacques Billant (pictured), condemned the human traffickers who packed victims into the boat

The regional governor of the Calais region, Prefet Jacques Billant (pictured), condemned the human traffickers who packed victims into the boat

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