UK News: Teenage asylum seeker 'terrified' boat might sink in Channel - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsTeenage asylum seeker 'terrified' boat might sink in Channel

01:00  12 september  2019
01:00  12 september  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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A teenage asylum seeker, who crossed the English Channel in a small boat three weeks ago, has told Sky News he was "terrified" and believed his boat might sink.

Teenage asylum seeker 'terrified' boat might sink in Channel © Sky News Screen Grab Young refugees at a centre in Folkestone receive help with English and maths from a local charity

The Iranian youngster, who was an unaccompanied minor, has now claimed asylum but may face a lengthy wait to determine whether he'll be granted refugee status.

Teenage asylum seeker 'terrified' boat might sink in Channel © Sky News Screen Grab Asylum seekers are given help adjusting to life in the UK

Sky News was granted rare access to a centre in Folkestone, where young refugees are being helped by a local charity.

Dozens missing, some dead after diving boat destroyed by fire off California coast

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At least seven people have died and 20 more are missing after a boat believed to be heading for Australia sank in Indonesian waters early this morning.

As another asylum seeker boat sinks on the journey to Australia, fresh claims have surfaced that detainees were raped and mistreated on Manus Island.

The Kent Refugee Action Network has helped more than 400 teenage asylum seekers in the past couple of years.

We joined the charity's staff and volunteers as they helped a group of six young asylum seekers to adjust to life in the UK, with special classes in English and maths, as well as other advice and practical assistance with their asylum process.

Teenage asylum seeker 'terrified' boat might sink in Channel © Sky News Screen Grab Migrants disembark after being rescued in the English Channel

We cannot identify the youngsters because of their age, but the group from Afghanistan, Iran and Syria said they had all fled conflict and desperate conditions in their home countries.

The Iranian teen was one of 336 migrants who crossed the Channel in August, in what was a record month for migrant crossings.

Five family members among 34 killed in dive boat tragedy

Five family members among 34 killed in dive boat tragedy Five members of the same family are believed to be among the 34 passengers killed after a dive boat caught fire and sank off the coast of California. Rescue workers have so far located 25 bodies - having retrieved 20 of them - but a search for survivors has been called off. Susana Rosas, of Stockton, posted on Facebook that her three daughters, their father and his wife were on board the 75ft-long (22 metre) commercial scuba diving boat Conception when it went down. "It is with a broken heart … 3 of our daughters were on this boat. As of now they are still missing.

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Australian authorities are continuing to assist more than 120 asylum seekers after their vessel sunk off the coast of Christmas Island.

The young man said he claimed asylum on his arrival.

"I spent one day at a police station and another day at another centre."

Already this month, more than 100 migrants have made the perilous journey, desperate to reach the UK.

Another teenager from Afghanistan told us: "I was in Dunkirk for three months.

"There was 18 people on my small boat. It was a small one, all the people were on this small boat, not a big one. I was scared."

Another Afghani teenager told us he had been in Calais for six months, trying to make it to the UK.

He eventually made it in the back of a lorry, the route the majority of cross channel migrants still choose.

At the Folkestone centre a local couple in their 80s volunteer to help the youngsters adjust to British life.

Janet and Derek Peirce said they had heard countless stories of the trauma that has forced youngsters into risking their lives to get here.

Derek Peirce said: "I think a lot of people are just in fear for their lives or they wouldn't be here. They would never risk that journey. I know I wouldn't."

Migrant boats headed to UK spotted in Channel

Migrant boats headed to UK spotted in Channel Two small boats carrying immigrants have been intercepted by Border Force officials in the Channel, Sky News understands, as Turkey said the country could not cope with a new wave of migrants from Syria. © Sky News Screen Grab Border Force officials intercepted the migrants. File pic In the latest attempted crossings in the Channel, the boats, which were headed towards the UK coastline, carried 22 people. The migrants were believed to be from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Indonesian authorities fear for 70 people still missing after boat carrying about 120 sank on its way to Australia.

On 15 December 2010, a boat carrying around 90 asylum seekers , mostly from Iraq and Iran, sank off the coast of Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, killing 48 people aboard; 42 survivors were rescued. The boat was later named SIEV-221.

Janet Peirce agreed: "Nobody surely would leave their home and embark on a journey that is full of danger.

"As a mother and grandmother, you can't just hear their stories and not do something to help. That's why we help as much as we can here."

Staff at the Kent Refugee Action Network said they would continue to do all they could to try to help child refugees seeking asylum in the UK.

But the charity has no central government funding. It relies on the generosity of local people, along with some small grants from local government and other agencies.

Two migrants have died attempting to cross to the UK in recent weeks, and as weather conditions worsen in the months ahead, authorities fear it may only be a matter of time before there's more tragedy in the Channel.

The Home Office has issued a fresh warning to migrants not to attempt the crossing.

But those warnings have had no impact on the rapidly increasing numbers trying to reach Britain by small boat.

The Kent Refugee Action Network said as long as these people keep coming, they will continue to do all they can to help them.

25 bodies are recovered after California boat fire with fading hope for any survivors.
Authorities fear that as many as 34 people may have died in a fire on a dive boat off the southern California coast.

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