Major rescue operation under way after dinghy ‘carrying 80 migrants’ capsizes in the English Channel

6 June 2024, 09:33 | Updated: 6 June 2024, 09:56

The rescue vessels at the scene in the English Channel
The rescue vessels at the scene in the English Channel. Picture:

By Asher McShane

A major rescue operation is under way in the English Channel with reports of up to 80 migrants in the water.

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British and French rescue vessels have been sent to a location roughly mid way between Calais and Dover.

Border Force vessels Defender and Ranger, along with support ship Taku are on scene.

A French tugboat the Abeille Normandie is also at the location, along with an RNLI lifeboat.

How the boat got into difficulty is currently unclear.

Some of the group are thought to have been pulled from the water.

No fatalities have been reported at this stage.

The Coastguard said it scrambled two helicopters to the incident in the Channel and the RNLI has dispatched lifeboats.

A spokeswoman said: "HM Coastguard is co-ordinating the response to a small boat incident in the Channel this morning, June 6. Coastguard helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent and RNLI lifeboats have been sent."

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