THREE people including a child are dead after a migrant boat capsized while crossing the Channel in 18mph winds, it has been reported.
A huge search is underway off Loon-Plage near Dunkirk to find the missing people who were attempting to reach the UK in rough seas.Police at Dunkirk port following the deaths of at least three migrants in the ChannelCredit: AFP or licensors
One person drowned while two others, including a five-year-old child, died of cardiac arrest after being rescued from the freezing cold water, according to French outlet Voix Du Nord.
At least 18 people - all Iraqis and Kurdish Iranians - have been rescued while another child, aged eight, is to be fighting for its life, the report says.
Those rescued have been taken care to Calais and Dunkirk hospitals, officials said.
An English yachtsman reportedly triggered the alert after spotting the semi-rigid sink with about 20 on board.
An emergency services alert mentioned three missing people while 13 others are in a state of hypothermia, local media reports.
Three victims are in cardiac arrest, it has been reported.
There were children between the ages of five and eight among the group of migrants in distress.
The survivors reportedly said an infant was among the people who are missing in the choppy waters.
French Coastguard were alerted by the sailing boat Marbuzet of the presence of a migrant vessel in difficulty in the Dunkirk channel.
Officials said the boat carrying the migrants sank, adding: "Search operations are still underway.
"At the same time, an operational PC was activated on land under the authority of the Dunkirk sub-prefect to coordinate the resources engaged by SDIS 59 and SAMU 59."
An investigation was opened by the public prosecutor of Dunkirk to identify the causes of this sinking.At least three people have died following the sinking of the boat, it has been reportedCredit: AFP or licensors
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