One dead and 50 rescued after migrant boat sinks in English Channel
A person has died and five others are in a ‘serious’ conditions after a boat carrying asylum seekers sank in the English Channel.
Up to 50 people have been rescued following a joint operation by the British and French coastguards.
The extent of the other injuries is unclear but a number of people were seen being brought off a lifeboat on stretchers in Dover.
A lifeboat crew was launched just before 04:00 BST, the RNLI confirmed.
Up to six people were taken by helicopter to a hospital in Calais with one person later pronounced dead, France’s Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea confirmed.
A volunteer on the boats told Reuters migrants were using shoes to bale water out of the sinking boat.
Anne Thorel said her group saved 54 people including one woman, adding: ‘There were too many on the boat’.
As of August 10, 15,826 people have crossed the Channel in a small boat this year.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman will chair a meeting with Border Force officials, it is understood.
Ms Braverman will hold the meeting with Small Boats Operational Command Gold this morning.
A UK Government spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of an incident in the Channel. HM Coastguard are working on a co-ordinated response and further information will be provided in due course.’
An investigation has been opened by the Boulogne prosecutor’s office.
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