Channel migrants: Manslaughter charge over man's death

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French Navy helicopterImage source, PreMarManche
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A man died after being airlifted to hospital in Calais on Thursday

A man has been charged with manslaughter in France after a migrant died trying to cross the English Channel in a small boat.

A 27-year-old Eritrean man died on Thursday after a boat carrying 36 people began to sink.

French authorities said an Algerian national appeared before a judge on Saturday and is being held in custody.

He was also charged with endangering the lives of others and assisting illegal entry into France.

Nearly 600 migrants reached the UK in small boats on Thursday, with French authorities called to rescue a further 160 people after several boats got into difficulty.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Border Force intercepted 285 people on Friday

The dead man had been pulled unconscious from the water and was flown to hospital in Calais by helicopter.

Nikolai Posner from migrant charity Utopia 56 spoke to survivors in Dunkirk.

He said the 27-year-old jumped in to lighten the load of the sinking vessel he was on, as his 22-year-old girlfriend watched.

"The boat was starting to sink, so they wanted to reduce weight," he said, continuing: "The people jumped [into] the water... all the people have thrown all their luggage in the water as well, to make their boat lighter."

On Sunday, 285 people reached the UK in nine small boats, the Home Office said.

More than 11,000 people have made the journey this year.

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