Kent

Ten arrested after dramatic rescue in English Channel

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Media captionFrench authorities arrest 10 people after a boat carrying suspected illegal immigrants capsizes in the English Channel.

Ten people have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in people smuggling after a sea rescue in the English Channel.

A person on one of two boats carrying eight Vietnamese and two Britons from France to the UK was winched to safety after one of the vessels capsized.

The individual was taken to hospital in Calais with suspected hypothermia after being in the sea for four hours.

French police said all 10 people were arrested and are being questioned.

The UK coastguard sent an RNLI lifeboat crew to assist in the French-led operation, in the Dover Strait, 10 miles off the Dover coast, after being alerted at 06:30 BST.

'Eight stowaways'

A search-and-rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham in Suffolk was also dispatched and the Pride of Kent ferry put on standby.

A coastguard spokesman said those who had been in the water were recovered by the occupants of the second of the two inflatables.

All were taken on a French police vessel back to Calais, where they are being questioned about their immigration status.

Lieutenant Edme Alexi, of the French Prefecture Maritime, which oversees sea activity in that part of the Channel, said: "This craft didn't seem to be moving… and not asking for any assistance. So we had to investigate.

"It was effectively eight stowaway people and two other passengers."

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