UK police on Sunday said a teenager had been charged over a deadly incident in the English Channel in which a boat packed with migrants capsized with the loss of four lives.
The boat got into trouble in freezing temperatures early on Wednesday sparking a rescue operation by a fishing boat, Britain’s coastguard and other emergency responders.
Ibrahima Bah, 19, had been remanded in custody and will appear before magistrates in the southern coastal town of Folkestone on Monday, Kent Police said.
He faces a charge of facilitating attempted illegal entry to the UK, police added.
Thirty-nine people were safely brought to shore but four people were pronounced dead in Wednesday’s tragedy.
The sinking came just over a year after at least 27 people died in the Channel in another incident.
A higher death toll appears to have only been averted on Wednesday thanks largely to the crew of the fishing trawler Arcturus, who discovered the dozens of migrants clinging to stricken inflatable vessels.
The crew are believed to have saved 31 of the 39 people rescued.
In a joint statement issued late Wednesday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and British counterpart Suella Braverman said the incident was “a stark reminder of the urgent need to destroy the business model of people-smugglers”.
The UK government is trying to pass new laws to prevent the record numbers of migrants from attempting the Channel crossing, including making any such arrivals inadmissible for asylum claims.