The English Channel
The Syrian student is believed to have drowned attempting to cross the English ChannelGetty iStock

The body of a man washed up on the shore of the Dutch island of Texel has been identified as that of a 22-year-old Syrian refugee, believed to have been attempting to swim the English Channel to reach the UK.

DNA tests have confirmed the identity of the man, whose body was found in October, as Mouaz al Balkhi, an electrical engineering student believed to have been tryting to swim from Calais to join family in the UK, according to Dutch news agency ANP.

An investigation was launched by a Norwegian journalist after a man wearing a similar wetsuit was washed up on a Norwegian beach.

After speaking to aid workers in Calais, the journalist contacted a man in England whose nephew had gone missing seven months previously.

"I'm in Calais on the beach and I see England. Tomorrow I'm going to try to come to England," the man told his uncle before going missing, reports Norway's Dagbladet.

The missing man's parents lived in Jordan, and DNA tests confirmed that the body washed on the beach was their son.

The remains of the man found washed up in Norway have not been identified.

According to UN figures, three million Syrians have fled the country's civil war, with thousands crossing the Mediterranean into Europe.

Footage shot from a tour bus emerged on 14 June of immigrants trying to break into a lorry to smuggle themselves into the UK.

About 2,500 migrants, many from Syria, live in a makeshift encampment near Calais known as "the jungle".