Asylum seeker airlifted to hospital after attempting to swim from France to England

The swimmer was found 11 miles north of Calais. Picture: PA
The swimmer was found 11 miles north of Calais. Picture: PA
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A Channel ferry was forced to turn around on its way to England to rescue a would-be migrant trying to swim to the UK, it has been reported.

The asylum seeker, a man in his 30s, was suffering severe hypothermia despite wearing a wetsuit as he attempted to cross one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

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Crew members on the Dover-bound P&O Pride of Canterbury spotted the "distressed" swimmer at 10.40am on Monday, 11 miles north of Calais, according to The Daily Telegraph.

They launched a small rescue boat to pull him from the water before he was handed over to the French Navy and airlifted to hospital.

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Two migrants are known to have died this year trying to cross the Channel, including an Iraqi man who drowned after trying to use plastic bottles as a life jacket, the paper said.

A woman also drowned after falling overboard from a small boat travelling to the UK.

A total of 237 vessels carrying prospective migrants were picked up in the Channel in the first 10 months of 2019, the paper said.