A YACHTSMAN and his family rescued two freezing migrants who were on the same boat as a tragic family lost at sea.
Frans Botman, 53, told yesterday how he spotted people floundering in the Channel crying for help.
He took video footage which showed them clinging to an upturned hull of their capsized dinghy.
Frans — who was sailing 40ft yacht Marbuzet with his wife and son along the French coast — alerted coastguards at Calais. He then moved his boat round to help.
He said: “They were lucky I was passing otherwise there would have been many more dead.
“We pulled two of them on board. They were aged late teens, early 20s. We gave them tea and blankets.
“One spoke a little English. He said they set off from France and were heading to England.
“It was a crazy trip to make, the weather was bad and the boat far too small for them.
“The wind was very strong, it was raining heavily and the waves were very big. My thermometer showed the water temperature was 12C and they must have been in it for at least 40 minutes.
“At that temperature, you are lucky if you last more than an hour.”
Around 15 people were rescued by the coastguard.
But Rasoul Iran-Nejad and Shiva Mohammad Panahi, both 35, and their children Anita, nine and Armin, six, drowned. Their 15-month-old son Artin is still missing.
The family, who arrived in France from Iran last month, paid £21,000 to make the doomed crossing.
The Sun tracked down Frans to the Dutch port of Vlissingen where he anchored following Monday’s tragedy. He is on the latest leg of a journey from Spain to Amsterdam.
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He added: “It is sad that a family lost their lives. They must have been desperate to do what they did. I saw at least two people still in the water. They were clearly dead.”
Last night, an Iranian man, 37 — identified by those rescued as the captain of their boat — was under investigation in France for manslaughter. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in jail.
It also emerged that two more men were feared drowned in the tragedy.
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