Sudanese migrant, 24, who had lived in UK for four years drowned at Dover in bid to reunite with his brother who was detained while crossing Channel earlier that day, inquest hears
- Sudanese national Omar Ezeldin Ali, 24, walked into the sea at Dover in August
- On the same day his brother Sami Ezeldin Ali was detained crossing the Channel
- Omar is feared to have drowned trying to reunite with his brother, inquest heard
- He was living in Cardiff, Wales, after arriving illegally in UK in a lorry in June 2016
A migrant may have accidentally drowned when trying to reunite with his brother who was detained crossing the Channel by small boat on the same day, an inquest heard.
Sudanese national Omar Ezeldin Ali, 24, was attempting to claim asylum in the UK when he was seen walking into the sea fully clothed at Dover Harbour, Kent on August 20 last year.
Concerned members of the public threw buoyancy aids in after seeing him shout for help before disappearing under the crashing waves.
A huge search and rescue operation was launched just before 1pm with the aid of a coastguard helicopter to no avail.
Sudanese migrant Omar Ezeldin Ali, 24, drowned at Dover in bid to reunite with his brother Sami Ezeldin Ali, who was detained while crossing Channel earlier that day, an inquest heard on Monday. Pictured: Stock image of migrants crossing the English Channel
But a teenager spotted a body floating at around 5.45pm and dragged lifeless Omar to shore where he was pronounced dead.
The inquest heard his brother Sami Ezeldin Ali, who attended the inquest virtually with a support worker from Wales, was detained in the Channel the same day for entering the UK illegally in a rigid hulled inflatable boat.
Detective Sergeant Darren Manktelow, of Kent Police, told the inquest that Sami had said Omar, who had been living in the UK for four years, ‘was not a good swimmer’.
He said in evidence: ‘It seems likely Omar attended the area with the view to meeting his brother.
‘There was nothing to indicate why he had come to Dover or why he was in the sea.’
He added: ‘When I discovered his brother had come to Dover that same day, it’s a possibility that it was a way for him to get back in contact with his brother if he went into the sea and came out of the sea that he might get picked up and also taken in by immigration.’
Omar was attempting to claim asylum in the UK when he was seen walking into the sea fully clothed at Dover Harbour, Kent on August 20 last year. His body was pulled from the water a short time later
More than 50 migrants are detained by Border Force after being picked up in English Channel on five small boats as number making crossing this year rises to above 300
Around 50 migrants arrived in Britain overnight after crossing the Channel
More than 50 migrants have been detained in the Channel today in what is expected to be the busiest day of crossings of the month so far.
Their arrival brings the total number of migrants who have risked their life to cross the Channel to Britain this year to more than 300.
At least five small boats made the treacherous journey for the first time in a fortnight after being put off by dangerous conditions at sea caused by Storm Darcy.
A lull in bad weather and warmer temperatures saw the boats make the crossings through the night.
Boats began arriving from midnight onwards, with dozens making the crossing in the dark.
The migrants were reportedly escorted across the Channel by French authorities and handed to the UK Border Force half way across the busy waterway.
A wallet was found in the sea with Omar’s immigration card inside and a black rucksack abandoned on the beach contained clothing, an old diary and paperwork also in his name.
One member of the public, who saw shoeless Omar struggling underwater, entered the sea himself to attempt rescue but found the waves too high.
Tyler Kinnett, 17, was listening to music with friends on the beach at Dover Promenade when he spotted Omar’s body in a white T shirt and trousers and pulled it to shore.
Coroner Katrina Hepburn recorded a verdict of misadventure at the inquest held at County Hall in Maidstone, Kent today.
She concluded: ‘I find it likely that he has come into difficulty in the water and sadly drowned.
‘But why did he enter the water? It’s difficult for me to say. There is not sufficient evidence to make a clear determination.
‘There is insufficient evidence before me that he entered to take his own life when he went into the water.
‘It is possible that he entered the water so that he could come back and be picked up as a new asylum seeker so he could be reunited with his brother who was picked up on the same day.’
Dr Abdul Kadir found Omar died of drowning during a post-mortem examination.
He had been living at Clearsprings operated accommodation in Cardiff, Wales for more than four years after arriving illegally in the UK in the back of a lorry in June 2016, according to a Home Office letter read during the inquest.
But Omar was referred to safeguarding teams due to his deteriorating mental health and was even sectioned for four months.
When he was released in April 2019, he told Dr Emma Morgan he felt good and had no concerns to raise.
She said in a statement: ‘He had been optimistic about his asylum application and thought it would be successful.’
But he had two asylum applications turned down in 2019.
Coroner Katrina Hepburn recorded a verdict of misadventure at the inquest held at County Hall in Maidstone, Kent (pictured, stock image) today
Omar was rushed to hospital in July last year after stabbing himself three times with a kitchen knife.
He then absconded from the temporary housing block for asylum seekers on August 14 never to return.
A record 8,410 migrants made the dangerous journey across the Channel last year.
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