Man feared dead in Channel tragedy told friend ‘I don’t know if we’re going to make it’

Mohammad Aziz, 31 from Iraq began to panic and called his friend Peshraw as the inflatable boat began to show signs of sinking, telling him that ‘the engine isn’t enough – I don’t know if we are going to make it’

Mohammad Aziz, 31 is feared to be one of the victims who died in the horrific Channel crossing tragedy earlier this week
Mohammad Aziz, 31 is feared to be one of the victims who died in the horrific Channel crossing tragedy earlier this week

A man feared to have lost his life in the horrific Channel tragedy told his friend in a phone call: ‘I don’t know if we’re going to make it.’

Mohammad Aziz, 31, has not heard been from him since the harrowing phone call he made to friend Peshraw Aziz.

Mohammad had spoken with Peshraw during the perilous journey across the Channel, and had told him: ‘It’s not good, the engine isn’t powerful enough – I don’t know if we’re going to make it.’

27 people have been confirmed to have died on Wednesday while making the dangerous journey from France to the UK in the hopes of a better life.

Three children, seven women and 17 men were confirmed by French officials to have drowned when the inflatable dinghy they were travelling on sank.

27 people are confirmed to have lost their lives when an inflatable boat sunk during the crossing



Peshraw, 30 had received a phonecall from his friend Mohammad, who he had met in a camp near Dunkirk, who was panicking during the crossing.

He had decided to attempt make the journey to Britain, but as the inflatable dinghy began to show signs of sinking, he told Peshraw that he on the phone that he doubted his choice.

The two friends had spoken just an hour before the boat sank.

The tragedy occurred during one of three crossings that day


Stuart Brock/LNP)

Peshraw told the Daily Mail: “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.”

They had both travelled through Belraus from Ranya, a town in northern Iraq and had become friends after meeting in France.

Riaz Mohammed, 12, his relative Share Mohammed, 17, pictured wearing life jackets on the beach prior to the crossing

Others were worried about the fate of four young Afghans who had not been accounted for in the wake of the tragedy.

Relatives Riaz and Share Mohammed, 12 and 17, along with teenagers Palowan, 16, and Shinai, 15 had all attempted to cross the Channel that day.

Their friends have not yet heard from them, and fear the worst.

A friend of Riaz and Share said that the boys had made the journey as part of a group of 100 people who travelled on three inflatables after a failed attempt a few days earlier.

Hassan, 30, from Kabul: “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.”

It is unclear whether the four teenagers made the journey safely or if they were one of the people who had lost their lives.

The names of those who perished in the tragedy have not been confirmed by French authorities.

Two people, a Somali and Iraqi man, survived the tragedy but remain in critical condition in hospital.

In was the deadliest ever incident of its kind ever, and led to a fisherman sounding the alarm at around 2pm after he saw corpses floating in the sea.

Charles Devos, a lifeboat volunteer who was one of the people pulling bodies out of the sea: “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.

French police stand near as a group of more than 40 migrants run with an inflatable dinghy



“Unfortunately, we were only able to recover the dead people.”

He added: “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.”

On the same day that Mohammad attempted the journey, French police were pictured watching on as children were put on another inflatable boat for crossing.

Thankfully, the people on that crossing arrived six-and-a-half hours later near Dover.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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