Twenty-four migrants were rescued at sea and brought back to the French coast on Sunday as they tried to reach England on board makeshift boats.
Migrants on board “several boats” have themselves contacted the regional operational center for surveillance and rescue (CROSS) Gris-Nez to “report in difficulty” in the Strait of Pas-de-Calais, said in a statement the prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.
Fourteen migrants were first rescued by a coastal speedboat from the maritime gendarmerie and dropped off at the port of Dunkirk (North), to be taken care of by the border police (PAF) shortly after 10 a.m.
A French Navy boat then rescued 10 other migrants off Ambleteuse (Pas-de-Calais). Brought back to the port of Boulogne sur mer, they were handed over to the PAF at 2:45 p.m.
More than 9,500 crossings or attempts in 2020
Since the end of 2018, these illegal crossings of the Channel have been increasing despite repeated warnings from the authorities stressing the danger linked to the density of traffic, strong currents and low water temperature.
In 2020, more than 9,500 crossings or attempted crossings of this type were recorded, i.e. four times more than in 2019, according to a report from the French authorities. Six people died and three are missing, after four deaths in 2019.
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This new attempt at crossing also echoes the multiple controversies over the daily lives of hundreds of exiles on the French coast. PS and EELV elected representatives from the North, including Patrick Kanner and Karima Delli, alerted again on Saturday to the “unworthy” living conditions of migrants in Grande-Synthe, who live “on the ground, in the cold, in the mud” and at will. regular evacuations, calling for a “real reception policy”.