Asylum seeker drowned off Dover as brother arrived in dinghy

Published
image captionA large search and rescue operation began after Mr Ali was seen in difficulty near the Port of Dover

An asylum seeker drowned off the coast of Kent on the day his brother arrived in a dinghy, an inquest heard.

Omar Ezildin Ali, who had been in the UK since 2016, was seen struggling in the water near Dover on 20 August.

A search and rescue operation was launched, but found no sign of him and his body was discovered later that day.

Coroner Katrina Hepburn said Mr Ali may have been attempting to reunite with his brother "who was also coming into the country on the same day".

The 24-year-old had fled his home in Sudan after being involved in a demonstration against the government, an inquest at County Hall in Maidstone heard.

He entered the UK in June 2016 in the back of a lorry and had been living in Cardiff.

Two asylum applications had been rejected, but he had remained "optimistic" about the process, the inquest heard.

The coroner said there was no "clear evidence" of why Mr Ali had travelled from Wales to Dover and entered the water.

"It is possible that he entered the water so that he could... be picked up as a new asylum seeker, and then reunite with his brother, who was also coming into the country on the same day," she said.

Ms Hepburn recorded a conclusion of misadventure.

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