Migrant deaths inquests to open after boat capsizes in Channel

Ibrahima Bah, 19, of no fixed address, was arrested in connection with the incident last Friday.

Published

The inquests into the deaths of four people who died after a boat capsized in the Channel are set to open.

The four were pronounced dead following a major rescue operation off the Kent coast in the early hours of December 14 after reports of a boat in distress.

Another 39 people were safely brought to shore during the rescue, which involved the Royal Navy, French navy, Coastguard, RNLI lifeboats, ambulance service and police.

The inquests, which will be presided over by senior coroner Patricia Harding, will begin at County Hall in Maidstone on Friday morning.

The circumstances surrounding the deaths are being investigated by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, assisted by the National Crime Agency.

Ibrahima Bah, 19, of no fixed address, was arrested in connection with the incident last Friday.

Kent Police announced on Sunday that Bah had been charged with knowingly facilitating the attempted arrival in the UK of people he knew or had reasonable cause to believe were asylum seekers.

He appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court in Kent on Monday and pleaded not guilty to facilitating attempted illegal entry to the UK.