Original article from Kent Live
A man airlifted to hospital from the English Channel after a boat carrying around 40 people began to sink has died.
French media have reported the death of the male, who was taken to Calais by helicopter earlier on Thursday.
The boat is believed to have begun taking on water as it headed for the UK.
The rescue operation, involving French and Belgian air and sea units, is ongoing, authorities in France say.
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Others are thought to have succeeded in reaching British shores on Thursday, with reports of a beach landing in Kent.
Searches started at around 10am after a cargo ship reported that a boat carrying around 40 people was in difficulty, with some people overboard, off the coast of Dunkirk.
An unconscious person taken aboard the cargo ship’s lifeboat and transferred on to a French Navy vessel was later airlifted to hospital in Calais.
He was believed to have suffered cardio-respiratory arrest and was evacuated aboard a Belgian Air Force helicopter, French authorities say.
French media have since reported that the individual has died.
Several others were also hoisted aboard the helicopter as the migrant boat was sinking, while more were rescued by nearby fishing boats.
They were all transferred on to the French Navy’s Flamant patrol boat, which headed for the port of Dunkirk.
Search and rescue operations remain under way in the Dover Strait, with a French Navy helicopter continuing to scour the area.
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Following days of bad weather in the Dover Strait, lighter conditions on Thursday have seen a flurry of crossing attempts.
The latest bids to reach the UK come after French authorities intercepted at least 108 people trying to cross the Channel on Wednesday, with one person having to be airlifted to hospital in Dunkirk.
The dangerous sea journey from France – made by more than 10,000 people including children so far in 2021 – has claimed many lives in the past.
Among them were Rasoul Iran-Nejad and his wife Shiva Mohammad Panahi, who died along with their three children when their boat capsized on October 27 2020.
KentLive uses the term people when referring to those who cross the Channel and arrive on our shores.
That's because, regardless of their status at the point of entry, those moving from one country to the other are human beings.
You will have seen them commonly referred to as migrants. This is not incorrect.
The UN Migration Agency defines a migrant as – any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a state away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of the person’s legal status, whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary, what the causes for the movement are, or what the length of the stay is.
KentLive also refers to people in these circumstances as refugees.
The UN definition of refugees is – people who are outside their country of origin for reasons of feared persecution, conflict, generalised violence, or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order and, as a result, require international protection.
Their 15-month-old son Artin was reported missing following the tragedy and it was not until June this year that police confirmed a body found on the Norwegian coast was that of the young boy.
Data compiled by the PA news agency shows the tally for successful crossings this year now stands at more than 10,700 people, despite the dangers involved in the journey.
Crossings in 2021 eclipsed last year’s annual total of 8,417 in July, PA data shows.