At least seven people are known to have died so far this year while attempting to cross the Channel. /AFP
Four migrants have died after a fishing boat carrying migrants towards the UK from France capsized in the English Channel.
One man drowned when the boat sank, and three people died after they were pulled from the water alive with 14 others.
Herve Tourmente, Deputy Prefect for the French region, told journalists that some of those rescued, including two children, had gone into cardiac arrest after entering icy cold waters.
The remaining survivors are also suffering from hypothermia having spent a period of time in the water before being pulled to safety at approximately 9:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
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"It seems that one person, who might be an infant, is still missing," Tourmente said, noting that stormy conditions had made the attempted crossing especially perilous.
A growing number of migrants have tried to cross the busy shipping lane in recent months, with four deaths recorded in 2019 and seven so far this year, including the victims from Tuesday.
In September, French authorities said they had intercepted more than 1,300 people trying to reach the UK, including a handful who attempted to swim across the Channel.
A growing number of migrants have tried to cross the busy shipping lane. /AFP
Despite the growing numbers of migrants and refugees risking their lives by trying to cross the English Channel, the numbers of migrants entering Europe has fallen since 2015.
Five years ago more than a million people crossed into the continent as they fled war, poverty and human rights abuses in other countries.
Last year 123,663 migrants crossed into Europe, but 90 percent of those have done so via the sea, resulting in hundreds of deaths and calls for safer pathways for those seeking asylum.
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