British woman dies after boat crash in the south of France

The boat was travelling between Avignon and the river island of Barthelasse

By Bethany Minelle, News Reporter

A British woman has died after a boat she was travelling in violently struck a beacon on the Rhone River in the south of France.

The force of the impact threw her from the boat, and her body was later found by divers at a depth of 6m (20ft).

The 27-year-old victim had spent the evening at a restaurant on the river island of Barthelasse with eight friends – four French and four British – aged between 20 and 30.

The group were returning to the city of Avignon on a 7m (23ft) boat driven by a helmsman when the crash took place at about 10.45pm (9.45pm UK time) on Saturday night.

Five other people, including one Briton, were taken to hospital after the collision, two of them with serious injuries.

Police are now investigating the cause of the accident.

Officers say victims and witnesses are yet to be questioned because they are in shock.

A free boat shuttle service runs from just east of the Pont d’Avignon across to the island, taking about 10 minutes to cross.

Set on the river, just a few minutes from the cities of Avignon and Villeneuve les Avignon, the island is popular with tourists due to its rural landscape and riverside walks.

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