One person has died and five others have been hospitalized after a refugee boat sank in the English Channel.
The boat is said to have had around 50 people on board at the time of the attackoccurred off the coast of Dover at 4am this morning.
Dozens were brought ashore in a lifeboat, and many of the spotted were taken ashore on stretchers.
Five people were in a “serious” condition when they came ashore.
It is said that about 50 people were on board the ship when it ran into trouble.
The French Coast Guard said: “This Saturday, August 12, the Regional Operations Center for Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS) Gris-Nez was informed by the public patrol boat Cormoran that a refugee boat sank off Sangatte.”
The Cormorant then launched his semi-rigid ship to rescue the shipwrecked. At the same time, the CROSS Gris Nez was mobilized.
“By this time, under the coordination of the CROSS Gris Nez, about 50 people had been rescued, some with British funds.
“Unfortunately, six people were recovered in serious condition and one of them was evacuated by helicopter to Calais hospital and pronounced dead.
“The Boulogne public prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation.”
A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: “HM Coastguard is currently assisting French authorities, Gris Nez, in a search and rescue operation following an incident involving a small boat in the English Channel.”
“As part of this assistance, a lifeboat from the RNLI was dispatched from Dover with coastguard rescue teams from Folkestone and Langdon Bay. An ambulance has also been dispatched to the southeast coast.”
“HM Coastguard will continue to work with search and rescue partners to assist those in need around the UK’s seas and coastal areas.”