A man dies in the English Channel after a boat with 31 people ran into trouble

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A young man died while trying to cross the English channel by boat from 31 migrants got into trouble French waters.

Search and rescue teams were called to a small vessel near the beaches of the northern city of Berck-sur-Mer, where at least one person was overboard, French maritime authorities said.

Twenty-five people who remained on board were towed ashore, and five were pulled from the sandstone by firefighters.

A 20-year-old Sudanese citizen was unconscious and was pronounced dead after being taken back to shore.

The Boulogne-sur-Mer prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the incident.

Steve Crawshaw, director of politics and advocacy at Freedom from Torture, said he was “deeply upset” by reports that Interior Minister Priti Patel was implementing plans to use force against boats transporting refugees across the English Channel.

The Home office is facing legal action over proposals to turn small boats at sea, a tactic warned by activists could be life-threatening.

“People seeking security in the UK need to be treated with compassion and dignity; this inhumane policy of repulsion is illegal and we look forward to seeing the government in court, ”Mr Crawshaw said.

“As this government knows all too well, this policy will only increase the risk of further loss of life.”

The latest attempts at a dangerous crossing of the English Channel are coming despite sub-zero temperatures on the French coast.

At least 271 people aboard 10 small boats arrived in the UK on Thursday, including a small child.

So far this year, after a record 2021, more than 450 people have set out on a life-threatening trip across the English Channel in small boats.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said: “This tragic loss of life in France today is devastating and our thoughts are with the family of the victims and loved ones.

“Unfortunately, this is another reminder of the extreme dangers of crossing the English Channel by small boats and how important it is to work closely with France to prevent people from crossing these dangerous crossings.”

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