Pictured: First victim of Channel migrant disaster

·3-min read
Baran Nuri Muhamadamin Faque in close-up, wearing a dress and tiara
Baran Nuri Muhamadamin Faque in close-up, wearing a dress and tiara

An Iraqi-Kurdish woman who lost contact with her husband in the middle of the sea is the first confirmed victim of the Channel migrant tragedy, The Telegraph has learned.

The body of Baran Nouri Hamadami is understood to have been identified by a relative at a facility in France after 27 migrants drowned in Wednesday's boat disaster.

Her grieving family are understood to be organising her funeral in the Kurdish city of Irbil.

It comes after her husband told The Telegraph on Thursday that he had been following the movements of his spouse – who was also known as Maryam – during her boat journey when her GPS signal suddenly cut off.

"I am in a very bad state," he said.

Baran Nouri Hamadami and her husband pose for a photo in front of some mountains
Baran Nouri Hamadami and her husband pose for a photo in front of some mountains

French and British investigators are understood to be piecing together Mrs Nouri’s movements in the days leading up to the sinking.

The man, a Kurdish immigrant living in the UK, tearfully said Mrs Nouri had been trying to join him in Britain.

"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 4 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.”

He said he had spoken to his wife on the phone before her signal disappeared, and she had told him that there were some 30 people crowded on to her dinghy.

They included other Kurdish women, as well as a girl aged about nine, and Afghan nationals.

Baran Nuri Muhamadamin Faque
Baran Nuri Muhamadamin Faque

When he heard that a vessel had capsized in the sea off France, the man called the people traffickers who had organised the crossing but they told him they could not reach any of the people on board.

A joint search and rescue operation by the French and British authorities that was launched after a fishing boat spotted people in the sea was called off late on Wednesday. No migrants are understood to have made the crossing so far on Friday as Storm Arwen hit the UK, with strong winds expected to make any journey across the Channel too dangerous.

A total of 757 migrants crossed the Channel in 17 boats on Wednesday – the day 27 people lost their lives attempting the perilous journey.

French authorities also prevented 176 people from reaching the UK in eight incidents, according to the Home Office.

Just hours after the tragedy off the coast of Calais, a further 62 migrants successfully made the dangerous journey in two boats on Thursday.

The latest confirmed figures mean 6,869 migrants have arrived in 201 boats so far in November.

It takes the total so far in 2021 to 26,611 – compared to 8,410 in 2020 and just 1,850 in 2019.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting