Reuters International

LONDON (Reuters) - Nineteen people have been rescued from the English Channel after an inflatable boat they were in started taking on water, the British coastguard said on Sunday.

Kent Online website described the 19 as migrants.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said in a statement that a call was made close to midnight on Saturday and the inflatable boat was found in the early hours of the morning by a search and rescue helicopter, lifeboats and rescue teams off the coast of the county of Kent.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have risked their lives to come to Europe in flimsy boats, fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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