Coastguard recovers man's body spotted in English Channel

·2-min read

The body of a man has been recovered by the Coastguard in the English Channel, after being spotted by another vessel.

The body, which was lifted from the water this afternoon, has been taken to Eastbourne, Sussex Police have said.

Officers said the man had been seen in the water in the "mid-English Channel". They have not identified him, or confirmed his nationality.

Enquiries have begun into the circumstances of his death.

The discovery of the body, in what is one of the world's busiest shipping channels, comes amid a boom in staycations following the easing of coronavirus lockdown measures in the UK.

It also follows a record number of Channel crossings which authorities have attributed to fine weather following weeks of unsettled conditions.

It is thought at least 1,000 men, women and children were spotted making the journey from France to the UK last week.

The Home Office put the figure at lower than that but cannot yet say whether the record was broken.

Lifeboat teams were seen bringing groups of migrants ashore, including a baby and several young children, following a day which saw the first people escorted to safety from the Channel to Dover in more than a fortnight.

Eyewitnesses described authorities including Border Force and the RNLI as appearing to be very busy as a steady stream of crossings was thought to be under way on calm waters and under warm, sunny skies.

French authorities were also on alert for more migrant crossings.

Local Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) teams based in Kent picked up a small boat carrying a large group of migrants at Dungeness on Monday morning.

Crossings over the perilous Dover Strait had been quiet due to bad weather, but seemingly resumed in September with four boats arriving last Sunday and many thought to have attempted the journey the following Monday.

Sunday's arrivals brought the total number of people who have crossed the UK aboard small boats this year to more than 12,500, according to data from the PA news agency.

Crossings in 2021 have already eclipsed last year's annual total of 8,417.

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