Aircraft ditches in English Channel

A private plane carrying two people from Alderney has ditched into the English Channel off the coast of France.

A woman has been airlifted to Cherbourg hospital while the search continues for the other person.

Guernsey Coastguard said the woman was found on a life-raft by a Russian merchant ship, the Jork Rider, which responded to a mayday call.

The Royal Navy's HMS Tyne is assisting the French coastguard in the search.

Lt Cdr Will Peters told the BBC searchers had found what they thought was one of the plane's wheels, and the search area was being widened, with night-vision equipment being used.

The aircraft was en route from Lee-on-Solent, in the UK, to Alderney when the crash happened at about 15:50 GMT.

The aircraft belongs to Alderney Flying Training Club.

Lifeboats from Guernsey, Alderney and Cap de la Hague, French Coastguard helicopters and Channel Islands Air Search are involved in the search operation.

The MoD said HMS Tyne is equipped with night vision capability.

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