Nearly 300 migrants rescued in the Channel trying to reach England

They were trying to reach England by crossing the Channel in boats. Two hundred and ninety-two migrants were rescued and returned to the French coast on Tuesday, the maritime prefecture announced on Wednesday (November 3).

In the night from Monday to Tuesday, “The Gris-Nez operational surveillance and rescue center (Cross) is informed that many boats are in difficulty off the coast of Nord and Pas-de-Calais”, advertisement in a statement the prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea, which specifies that “The operations continued during the day of November 2”.

In particular, a French Navy intervention tug recovered 108 castaways on board during three separate rescue operations. Thirty-two other castaways were rescued during an intervention by the National Society for Rescue at Sea (SNSM) of Dunkirk. For its part, the Calais SNSM rescued 33 migrants during another intervention.

A migrant who was trying to reach England on a boat was declared missing at sea by his crossing companions, according to the prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea. According to this source, “The rescuers rescued a boat in difficulty” and the castaways then “Reported a man overboard”, which was not seen by the emergency services. This man had not been found or identified at midday, the prefecture said.

Read the interview: Article reserved for our subscribers “France is in a position that could be compared to that of Morocco or Turkey, which accept for a fee to manage the migration issue”

Multiplication of crossings

At the same time, an operation by the Dunkirk port security brigade brought aid to 36 shipwrecked people. A coastal surveillance boat from the maritime gendarmerie also rescued and recovered 34 people on board. Finally, a customs coast guard patroller rescued 49 castaways during two interventions. All were driven back to land and taken care of by firefighters and border police.

Since the end of 2018, illegal crossings of the Channel by migrants seeking to reach the United Kingdom have increased despite repeated warnings from the authorities, which recall the danger linked to the density of traffic, strong currents and low water temperature.

According to the maritime prefect, Philippe Dutrieux, around 15,400 migrants attempted the crossing between the 1is January and August 31, of which 3,500 were “Recovered in difficulty” in the strait and returned to the French coast. In 2020, crossings and attempted crossings concerned some 9,500 people, compared to 2,300 in 2019 and 600 in 2018.

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The World with AFP

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Nearly 300 migrants rescued in the Channel trying to reach England

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