At least 31 people died on Wednesday after a boat carrying migrants capsized in the English Channel, just off the coast of France, the New York Times reports.

French authorities confirmed the deaths, and said they were part of a group of 33 migrants attempting to reach Britain. It is believed that five women and a young child are among the dead. It has not been revealed where the migrants were travelling from. 

French prime minister Jean Castex, in a translated message, called the shipwreck a “tragedy.” Natacha Bouchart, mayor of Calais, said that their deaths were a “human tragedy that I regret and that I’ve been fearing ever since I was elected.” In recent months, there has been a large increase in attempts to cross the channel, she added.

Records show that at least 31,500 have attempted to cross the English Channel in 2021, with around 7,800 saved from capsized vessels. Prior to the sinking of the migrant boat on Wednesday, there had been seven people reported dead or missing this year.

British prime minister Boris Johnson also released a statement on Wednesday. “I am shocked, appalled and deeply saddened by the loss of life at sea in the Channel,” said Johnson. “My thoughts are with the victims and their families. … I also want to say that this disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the Channel in this way.”

According to Sky News, migrants crossing the channel reached a record high this month. On Nov. 11 alone, 1,185 migrants arrived on the shores of the United Kingdom.