One migrant has died, and another is critically injured in hospital after a dramatic rescue operation in the English Channel overnight.

The French coastguard was alerted just after 1 am to reports that a migrant boat was sinking about 5 miles off Dunkirk.

One side of the boat was deflated, with dozens of migrants thrown into the water.

Five French vessels and the UK Coastguard helicopter have been involved in the rescue efforts.

In total, 66 people were rescued in the operation.

According to French authorities, one person succumbed to their injuries and could not be revived.

Another migrant was flown taken to a hospital in Calais, but they are reported to be critically ill and in a life-threatening condition.

This morning, a central air and sea search of the area about 5 miles off Gravelines Beach is still underway.

Weather conditions were difficult overnight, with a few swells in the area.

There is no indication yet as to why the inflatable began sinking.

The search operation includes a hunt for any other migrant boats that might still be in the area and attempting to cross into UK waters.