A migrant boat encountered problems while attempting to cross the English Channel on a chilly night, resulting in the deaths of four people.
Just after 03:30 GMT, a fishing team saw the dinghy sinking in the icy seas between Kent and France.
In an amazing rescue, the captain brought his boat up next to the other one, and his crew carried 31 people to safety.
Video taken from the boat shows people yelling for assistance while just wearing T-shirts and tiny life jackets.
The fishing trawler's owner, Ben Squire, posted a video showing crew members using ropes to rescue passengers from the sea and the boat.
The inflatable boat looks to be filling with water as panicked voices can be heard.
Lifeboats come on-site to begin the process of further rescuing victims while helicopter lights beam down from the night sky and carry people away.
According to a government spokeswoman, authorities were informed about a small boat in trouble 30 miles west of Dover at 3:05 GMT.
Mr. Squire, who was not there during the rescue, said that captain Ray Strachan informed him that 31 individuals were rescued.
The team warmed them up by giving hot baths, clothing, and food after transporting them to safety.
The water was "pretty chilly," according to Mr. Squire, and the weather was "a little bit rough."
Temperatures on Tuesday night fell to 1C; however, it was probably colder at sea. At the time, Kent was under a yellow ice weather advisory.
He said that despite the horrific nature of the event, the team performed a "cracking job."
According to Mr. Squire, who spoke to the BBC, "They did magnificently" getting that many passengers onto the boat.
According to a source close to the event, 43 individuals have been saved, with more than 30 of them being pulled from the water, according to the BBC's Nick Eardley.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman remarked, "These are the days that we fear."
The prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has said that he is sad about the "tragic loss of life."
A day after Mr. Sunak pledged increased steps to "stop the boats," it seems probable that the boat was carrying migrants who were braving the journey from France.
In these plans, the Prime Minister promised to hire more people to help clear up some of the backlogs of asylum cases in the UK by the end of the next year.
Ms. Braverman stated the search and rescue effort was continuing in an address to the House of Commons on Wednesday. She also said that she had talked to Border Force representatives about the incident.
To aid in the rescue effort, the French Navy, the RNLI, the UK Coastguard, and an air ambulance were all sent.
Coast guard helicopters from Lee and Lydd on the Solent were also present.
According to the South East Coast Ambulance Service, it received a call after hearing about the event and sent staff to Dover, Kent, to assist with the follow-up procedure.
A boat in trouble in the English Channel called a French organization, Utopia 56, which aids migrants in Calais, in the early hours with a voice message and a location.
However, the organization said that it was impossible to confirm if the boat in issue was the source of this distress call.
Several lawmakers have sent their condolences. One of them, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, said that she was "thinking heartfelt thoughts" about the people who were hurt.
More fatalities in the Channel are "heartbreaking," according to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, while Dover MP Natalie Elphicke said she was "extremely grieved" to learn of the tragedy.
The effort comes after a tragic event in November 2021, when a dinghy carrying migrants from France to the UK capsized, killing at least 27 people.
Between Friday and Sunday, 460 people, according to Simon Jones of the BBC, traveled by small boat from France to Kent.
So far this year, about 45,000 individuals have traveled there.
The Archbishop of Canterbury tweeted that discussions concerning asylum seekers "are not about numbers, but precious human lives," adding that he was "praying for the victims of today's tragic tragedy."
Tim Naor Hilton of the nonprofit Refugee Action says that more people will die trying to get to safety if the government doesn't open up more ways for refugees to ask for asylum.