A migrant boat which was trying to reach England illegally was rescued off Dunkirk. A pregnant woman and several children were on board.
Forty-five migrants, “including a pregnant woman and children”, who were trying to reach England illegally on board a makeshift boat were rescued at sea on Saturday as they found themselves “in difficulty” off the coast of Dunkirk (northern France), authorities announced.
Several migrants seemed “in a state of hypothermia”, but all are “safe and sound”, according to a statement from the maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.
The rescuers at sea feared many illegal crossings this weekend because of particularly calm weather, according to a source close to the rescue.
If the cliffs of Dover seem very close to the coast of Pas-de-Calais on a clear day, the English Channel can be very dangerous for the precarious boats of migrants, with sustained traffic and strong winds and currents.
At the end of October, a shipwreck left four dead and three missing, decimating an Iranian Kurdish family, the worst migratory tragedy to date in the English Channel, where attempts to cross by boat have been increasing since 2018.
On Saturday, a new agreement was signed between Paris and London to put an end to illegal immigration by sea. It provides in particular for the doubling of French patrols from December 1, which will be supported by drones and radars to locate those who attempt the crossing.
Posted today at 11:36 a.m.