One dead and another fighting for life after small boat carrying 66 migrants sinks in Channel

One person is dead and another is fighting for their life after a small boat crossing the English Channel sank early this morning, according to French authorities.

The boat, carrying 66 migrants, was discovered shipwrecked around 6km (3.7miles) from the French coast at around 1am on Friday.

The survivors have been taken to Calais, where the injured person is being treated in hospital. Searches are continuing by air and sea, the coastguard said.

The boat was discovered at 1am local time (12am GMT) with a deflated tube surrounded by people in the water as authorities rushed to rescue them.

So far this year more than 29,000 people have reached the UK in small boats. This represents a fall of around a third on the same period last year.

The UK government has said that “stopping the boats” crossing the English Channel is a key political priority and is pushing ahead with a plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda, despite the Supreme Court ruling that the policy is unlawful.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow.

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