Sudanese migrant, 28, who drowned in the Channel is pictured with ‘teenage’ friend who was able to swim to shore when their 3ft inflatable boat sank during perilous crossing
- Tragic Abdulfatah Hamdallah has been pictured with Ahmed Al-Somali, 17
- The pair used oars to row across the Channel in a 3ft dinghy which sank
- Mr Hamdallah couldn’t swim and drowned but Ahmed was able to swim to safety
- Friends of the pair said they were desperate to reach the UK and start a new life
This is the first picture of tragic Sudanese migrant Abdulfatah Hamdallah with the teenager he was with when their 3ft dinghy sank in the Channel for their doomed journey to the UK.
Ahmed Al-Somali, 17, was with his best friend Mr Hamdallah as the pair rowed towards Britain using oars as paddles.
But as Mr Hamdallah couldn’t swim and drowned when their boat burst a mile from the beach at Sandgatte, Ahmed was able to swim to safety.
Friends of the pair said they were desperate to reach the UK and start a new life there.
This is the first picture of tragic Sudanese migrant Abdulfatah Hamdallah (left) with Ahmed Al-Somali, 17, (right), the teenager he was with when their 3ft dinghy sank in the Channel for their doomed journey to the UK
Today Ahmed, who is being cared for by French social services also paid tribute to his friend and said he hoped he had reached heaven
Mr Hamdallah (pictured) couldn’t swim and drowned when their boat burst a mile from the beach at Sandgatte
Friends of the pair said they were desperate to reach the UK and start a new life there. Pictured: Mr Hamdallah’s desperate journey to Europe
Before setting off on their fateful journey, Mr Hamdallah told his friends: ‘I don’t know if we will meet again in life. But Inshallah we will meet one day ‘
Today Ahmed, who is being cared for by French social services also paid tribute to his friend and said he hoped he had reached heaven.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.
‘He moved next to his Lord brother, friend, colleague and beloved Abdel Fattah (and Grandpa), may God grant your family, friends, loved ones and all your relatives around the world
‘You were always with us in front, behind, right and north. I was late hours with me (sic), but today he did his duty
‘May God have mercy on you and forgive you and make you among the people of Paradise.
‘I swear we will never forget you
Mr Hamdallah came to Calais around two months ago, according to fellow migrants. He had taken a boat from Libya with two friends, and the journey took about three days before he landed in France
Pictured: The beach where the body of Mr Hamdallah washed up. Mr Hamdallah’s dinghy burst when he and his friend rotated their makeshift oars backwards
Friends say Mr Hamdallah had dreamed, like them, of reaching England and obtaining acceptance in contrast to what they said was hostility in France.
‘Mercy, forgiveness and steadfastness, Lord of the worlds. May God have mercy on you.’
Their friend Yusuf Juma spoke with the dead man hours before they embarked for England in the stolen rubber dinghy with shovels as oars.
Yusuf, 25, who studied English in Darfur and reached Calais by boat from Libya a month ago said: ‘I didn’t know he was going to go on the boat shortly after we met
‘But he was fed up of being here. He said nobody wanted him and he needed to reach England where he thought he could make a home and a life.
‘Now he is no more. But I have to ask the English government and the French government, how many more people have to die?
A friend of Mr Hamdallah posted a touching tribute to him on Facebook earlier today
‘I came here from Libya by boat and the three day journey was torturous. But having gone through that journey, I can see why people think nothing of trying to get across 20 miles to England.
‘We can see England from the beach. It looks so near. And I know that many of the men around me with come from Africa will make that journey.
‘I am perhaps one of the few who are not because I know how dangerous it is. But I will try to get into a lorry or a car. I need to get to England. I speak very good English and I can get a good job there and I can be a good asset to that country.’
Claire Mosey of the charity Care4Calais said: ‘It is time our government decided that they should have an office in Calais to assess claims for of political asylum.
‘That would mean the assessments could be carried out before people try to get across the English Channel in very dangerous conditions as we have seen from this tragedy.
‘People could then be assessed and they could be returned home if they were not proven to have cases of critical asylum. But more lives will be lost if something isn’t done soon.’
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