Teen appears in court after four died trying to cross English Channel in small boats

A court artist's impression of Ibrahima Bah. Credit: ITV Meridian

A teenager has appeared in court after four people died in the English Channel in a small boat.

The deaths happened after a vessel got into trouble while crossing to the UK in December.

Ibrahima Bah, 19, of no fixed address, appeared via video-link at Folkestone Magistrates' Court in Kent on Thursday after being charged with four counts of manslaughter.

He was ordered to next appear in custody for a preliminary hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on May 15, although that date may be brought forward.

Emergency services were called to the scene after the Dungeness coast when a small boat began to sink off the Dungeness coast in December. Credit: ITV Meridian

Before Thursday's hearing, Kent Police said: "In the early hours of December 14 2022, Kent Police was called to Dover to assist HM Coastguard following a report received of a small boat in distress in the water.

"A multi-agency search and rescue operation was carried out, resulting in 39 people being safely brought to shore.

"Four other people were pronounced deceased."

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

"Officers are continuing to work to establish the identity of the deceased and locate the next of kin," the spokesman said.

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