British soldier dies 'swimming in canal' during D-Day preparations

A British soldier has died in Normandy trying to swim across a canal after travelling to France to take part in the official D-Day commemorations.

It is thought the man, 30, got into difficulty after entering the canal near Pegasus Bridge, the first site freed from the Germans by British troops in 1944.

Emergency services were alerted at 11pm and his body was pulled from the water at 3am.

The victim was stationed at Ranville, near Caen on the Normandy coast, with other British soldiers, The Local reports.

A British Army spokesperson confirmed the man’s death but did not provide details of the circumstances of the accident.

They said: ‘It is with sadness that we must confirm the death of a service person in France. Our thoughts are with their family at this difficult time.’

Thousands of British soldiers have travelled to France this week to commemorate the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944.

The invasion marked the beginning of Europe’s liberation and the eventual defeat of the Nazi regime.

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